The Playful Parent



Both my one year old and three year old son get excited about taking a trip to Lowe’s. They love racing up and down the aisles in the shopping cart that looks like a race car. It’s also entertaining to sit on the tractors. There’s something special about tool time and helping with DIY projects though. A few months ago we discovered a program called Build & Grow. This workshop is a free hands-on, interactive event that gives little ones the opportunity to build a good ole fashioned wood-working craft. This experience is fun and encourages hands on learning experience that helps children: gain mathematics skills such as counting and measuring, understand how to follow instructions, learn how use tools, practice safety and develop a sense of confidence by competing their project. You will find as your little carpenter is hammering away that it will encourage them to strengthen; hand-eye coordination, dexterity and fine motor skills.

When you arrive an attendant will check you in. Each child registered will get an assigned hammer which you return at the end of the workshop and you will get to keep the apron, goggles and a package that contains all the materials you will need for the project. You and your child than open the package together, review the instructions and lay out your materials. Next, you get to work building your master piece. Don’t worry… if you find you need help an instructor will assist you. After you finish, your little carpenter will receive a certificate and a project-themed iron on patch which you can add to your apron.

We have been to a few workshops and it’s cool to collect the patches on the apron. So far we have made: a pullback race car, monster truck, bird feeder and last but not least Captain America. Lowe’s is currently featuring an avengers series; you will be able to collect them all and in the end fit the pieces together like a puzzle and make a circle. The next workshop is June 25, 2016; pre-registration opens on Monday June 13, 2016 to make Iron Man. I was told that it lights up!

My Secret Tips:

  1. Use the online Pre-registration: At our location the slots fill up quickly! I highly suggest that you sign-up for the workshop the day pre-registration opens; which is normally a week prior to the workshop. You can easy look for a workshop to register for by going to:
  2. Know your kid: Workshops are designed for children ages 6-10; however, that isn’t a requirement. My three your old gets a lot out of it and is able to keep up with the big kids. Projects can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes to complete, depending on the level of wood-working and your child’s ability. It can also get noisy from all the banging. You will want to be prepared if you have a child with a low attention span or sensory challenges. If you don’t finish the project at the store it okay, you can always take it home and finish it later.
  3. Arrive late: I find that most parents are overzealous and get there early or on time; which means there is a line to check-in and the table space fills up quickly. The hurry up to wait doesn’t work for us…What works for us is showing up 15-20 minutes after the start time. It is an open session so coming anytime during the time of the workshop is okay. By the time we arrive there is no line and plenty of space to work.
  4. Don’t use a table: While sitting at a table is comfortable, the bouncy will hinder the effectiveness of your hammering. I find the perfect place to sit is on the floor. We walk over to the carpet section which at our location is one aisle over. I take out carpet samples for my kids to sit on and we use the floor which is a much better surface area for hammering.
  5. Don’t fret if you miss out on a workshop: I know it’s not the same as free but Lowe’s sells there kits as well. They make great birthday presents or rainy day activities. They cost under $10. Visit this link to view products:

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