A Talk With..., Garden Style

Making Fall Household Chores Fun with Author Paul Deniken

fall leaf garland diy
Our Fall mantel gussied up with our homemade construction paper leaf garland. (More on my struggle with this fireplace here)

This week author Paul Denikin, from Dad Knows DIY, guest blogs and shares some smart tips on how to make some necessary home chores interesting for your children.  Paul is a father of two – his youngest child, Maggie, has special needs.   Paul has come into being “handy” through necessity and he is passionate about sharing his experiences working on DIY projects to benefit people with special needs children. Read more at his website Dad Knows DIY.

Fall Chores Made Fun for Kids
With the fall season arriving, it means it’s time once again for some household chores. Before it gets cold, your family should do a few things to winterize your home to avoid costly repairs. While your kids may complain, who said that chores have to be a pain? The following is a list of a few home and garden maintenance tips that everyone should do before winter hits, with a fun twist to get your kids involved and having fun.

1. Prevent pipe goblins from freezing your pipes 
One step for keeping your pipes from freezing this winter is to locate and seal any cracks in your walls, attic, and crawlspaces. To make this project entertaining, have your children help you find places (only places you’re comfortable with them going) where you need to seal by warning them of the pipe goblins that let in cool air during the winter by making holes in the walls. Be sure to show them a definite goblin crack so they know what to look for.

2. Thoroughly brush your home’s “teeth” 
It’s important to regularly change your home’s air filters to keep your air clean to breathe. If you have a disposable filter, simply throw away the old filter and replace it with a new one. With a washable air filter, rinse your filter in warm water, then use a brush and detergent to remove any leftover particles. Have your children help you dust off the filter, while explaining to them how important it is to regularly brush your home’s teeth, just like they should twice a day.

3. Form a band with your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
When detectors go off, they are unpleasantly loud, but you’ll want to check them once each season to make sure that they’re working properly. To keep your kids from getting scared of the loud sounds, have them set up some pots and pans and equip them with wooden spoons, plastic spatulas, or anything similar. Press the test button on your device and have someone play a drum roll until the beep goes off. Repeat with each detector until you’ve checked to make sure they’re all safe.

4. Give your garden some personality
In order to keep your garden safe during the winter, there’s a few things you’ll want to do. First you’ll want to clean up any debris that made its way into the garden. After that, trim and clean any plants that need it. Spreading mulch will protect newly planted perennials, and according to gardeners.com, removing any tender bulbs and storing them inside will keep them safe during the winter. Once you’re done with the gardening renovations, pull out a big bag of googly eyes and any other fun crafts you can think of and encourage your young ones to decorate your plants. This is a very simple and fun way to get them involved in your “gardening” project, and it gets their creative juices flowing. Just be sure not to use anything that will hinder the growth of your garden.

Most chores aren’t easy, but if you take the time to make them fun for you and your family, you’ll be sure to see how much easier they become. Turning chores into games, giving children a reward system when they do something well, and teaching them a lesson with every chore are all great ways to get them involved. Follow these simple steps right before winter hits to protect your home and family, and you’ll be well on your way to a safe and happy winter.

Thank you Paul for the post – I hope everyone is having a great November so far.  Just as a reminder to Colorado folks – another fun activity to do with your family this year is to cut your own tree.  November is the month to get your tree permit from a National Forest Service office.  We just got ours and will be tree-hunting in the forest December 2nd!

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