Build something with your kids

As a dad who is pretty poor with his hands, I was concerned when my middle son asked me to build a toolbox with him from blueprints he found in a children’s book.

Growing up, I never did something like that with my father, and in fact felt left out when other cub scouts made space derby rockets with their dads.

Needless to say, I jumped in, and the experience couldn’t have been more fun or satisfying. In fact, it has led to some regular projects together, projects that he knows are new not only to him, but to me, and that it will be an adventure diving in together.


• Think about your childhood. Did you ever build something with your father? Was it meaningful if you did – or didn’t – do something like this together?

• Check out Bruno the Carpenter, by Lars Klinting, in which Bruno the Beaver introduces different tools, and step-by-step directions for building a toolbox. Consider following through and building this toolbox with your son or daughter, as I did, or take up some other project.

• Pay attention to and teach safety. Besides fun, building a project together is a good opportunity to teach tool safety, as well as the planning and process stages.

• Consider going to Lowe’s or other home improvement store with your child. Check out the tools, materials, and the free weekend seminars and clinics that are offered.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents.

For more information, or to join local conversations, contact

Mick Trombley at

David Eggebeen at

Robert Orndorff at

Marc McCann at 237-1719 or