These are a great way to kick off the weekend when they are offered. These DIY clinics are monthly on Saturday mornings: Home Depot (9AM – noon) and Lowe’s (10AM – 11AM.) Home Depot and Lowe’s kid’s workshops are a great way to work in some quality family time!
Depending on skill level and amount of parental involvement, these projects can take anywhere from 15–30 minutes to complete. All materials are provided. When you are done you bring home your completed project, apron, certificate of completion, and a pin (HD) or badge. Good for all skill levels.
Comparing & Contrasting
Both clinics offer online registration and a printable waiver to bring with you the day of the workshop. Don’t worry if you forget the waiver, they have hard copies at the site. In our experience, during the first 15 minutes of the clinic, Lowe’s passed out kits only to those who registered online. During the popular holiday clinics, they have run out of kits during that 15-minute window, especially at the popular Madison location. So definitely register for Lowe’s.
It is easier to participate at Home Depot as a walk in, but they sometimes run out of kits in the last hour or so. It’s still recommended to register online. Madison stores are typically more crowded than North Huntsville locations.
How It Works
Once you check in, you will receive a project kit and apron. Tools (hammer, glue, screw drivers – depending on the project) are provided either at check-in or in the work area. Pick a spot in the designated area that’s been cordoned off for your safety. Your kit includes all the parts you will need, detailed instructions with plenty of diagrams, and even a spare nail or two. I’ve always found the directions to be very clear and concise.
While there will be a few employees to assist with check in and materials distribution, you should not expect and really won’t need their help in assembling the project. They will help clarify instructions, but they aren’t there to “teach a class”. Home Depot projects can be a little messier because they might involve glue or paint. Baby wipes can be very handy during those workshops. When you are done, you present your completed project to the attendants. They fill out the certificate and pass out the pin or badge.
About Difficulty Level
The level of parent help depends on each child’s skill level and experience. Younger children will need more supervision to keep them safe, as well as help reading and comprehending directions, lining up joints, driving in nails all the way, and assembly in general.
Please keep in mind that there will be the occasional loose nail running around, so watch little ones carefully. I’d be lying if I said we never had a smashed finger. In fact, all three of us have hammered a digit at least once. Our daughter has been participating since she was 2. At that age, either my husband or I did most of the project, but reserved hammering for her. (Hint: there were more than a few smushed parental fingers at this stage.) She’s almost 7 now and can do almost all of it on her own (read and assemble). Although, she still needs someone to hold the pieces together while she hammers.
We love these Home Depot and Lowe’s kid’s workshops. Whenever our daughter completes a project she beams with pride. When she was younger, it was a way for us to informally monitor her fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Watching the gradual improvement and development of independence over a course of time is just really cool.