The Home Depot has been running its Kids Workshops since October 1997. Kids have built something like 31-million kits over the years–including bird houses, bug cages, planter boxes and many other kid-friendly projects. In the process, these children learned how to use tools and follow instructions, and they’ve learned the joy of completing a project. A lot of parents say the Home Depot Kids workshops can be a wonderful parent-child bonding experience as well.
And now, some families are heading into the second generation of Kids Workshops.
We heard from one such family not long ago. Stephanie Heywood of Mesa, Arizona left us a wonderful comment on an Apron Blog story about Kids Workshops. She and her brother Sterling loved the workshops when they were kids, and now her daughter Miley is nearing the age when she can start enjoying the Kids Workshops. Stephanie told us that finding some of her old workshop projects in her dad’s garage brought back many good childhood memories.
We wanted to hear more, so we contacted her.
Stephanie wrote back, describing the moment she discovered one of her old Home Depot projects. “When my dad and I were cleaning out his garage, I first saw a pencil box that I made. I think I literally dropped what was in my had and flew to get the item off the shelf. “*GASP* I remember making this!!!” she wrote. “After that, I noticed other little things, and I rambled on how I made them with Sterling. If Sterling had been there, I know we would have just talked in circles about how we did this and that and the garage would have never gotten clean.”
A birdhouse project they both did reveals a little something about their personalities.
Stephanie’s birdhouse almost didn’t get made. Before nailing the pieces together, she decided to decorate the inside of the birdhouse and draw blueprints for bird furniture. “I drew a couch, a nest, a TV, etc. I remember that I took so long doodling details that I forgot to build the actual birdhouse!” she wrote. Stephanie went home with a pile of sticks (and some cool birdhouse furniture plans), but her dad helped her finish the project a few days later, after she had finished drawing the birdie furniture inside. She proudly presented the well-appointed birdhouse to Mom for Mother’s Day.
Sterling did manage to complete his birdhouse at the workshop, and he was thrilled with it. “Apparently I did a really good job,” he told us, ” because I was surprised how long it held up.” The birdhouse was very popular among the neighborhood birds for many years. But Sterling’s Mother’s Day present finally fell to pieces when he allowed a friend to use it as a target to practice shooting a paintball gun. Sterling apparently isn’t the sentimental type.
Their dad, Dave Smith, makes a living fixing up real estate property, so he makes a lot of visits to The Home Depot. “I know that at times they had a hard time understanding what I did for a living,” he told us, “so I thought [the Kids Workshops] were a good way to show them. We had lots of fun, and the kids always looked forward to the next time we went. They would often ask to go to Home Depot even if it wasn’t a project day, and they’d tell me how excited they were while we would walk around the store.”
Stephanie agrees that shopping trips to The Home Depot store were great for spending time with her dad. ”I loved that after we were done with the workshops, my dad would walk us around the store to do some shopping. At the time, he was in construction so he would say things like ‘I am going to build a kitchen out of all this wood, like you made your project just from some nails and wood.’”
The love of creating something from nothing became a big part of Stephanie’s life. She says this includes connecting her to her eventual husband: “My husband jokes that he knew I was The One when I pulled a pocket knife, measuring tape and a screw driver out of my purse on one of our first dates to fix something (you never know when you’ll need tools!).”
In her original comment here on the Apron Blog she said she’s excited that the program is still around so she and her husband can take daughter Miley to them as soon as she’s old enough.
We certainly look forward to seeing Miley at her local Home Depot store as she starts creating her own fond memories.
Our free Home Depot Kids Workshops will provide great memories for your little ones, too. They’re designed for children ages 5 – 12. We offer them from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of every month at all The Home Depot stores. You can see what the upcoming project is at our Kids Workshop page at homedepot.com.
On occasion, we run a feature called Real Stories, Real Doing about everyday people who incorporate The Home Depot into their homes, families and businesses. Would you like to be featured? Post a comment below, and share your story.