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What Can Kids Do?

Posted: 0000-00-00 00:00:00

At Habitat we like to include everyone in the process of building a home with a partner family but unfortunately there are some thing that kids can't participate in due to safety laws. So I decided to post some ideas for kids to participate in the building process while following our safety guidlines. So get out your tools and roll up your sleeves kids and make sure mom or dad is there to help!


1. Make a bird house or bird feeder!
Homeowners love to see birds in their yards. A bird house or a bird feeder is a great way to attract birds. You can make a simple bird house or feeder using some simple tools and a minimal amount of materials. There may even be some scrap wood on site to use. Just make sure to get permission from the building supervisor before you take it for your project.
Here's a simple plan that you can follow from aokorral.com for making a bird house-and-feeder-in-one :

Materials Needed:

  • Wood Pieces: (Beginning with a board measuring, 5 1/2" wide, 3/4" thick, and at least 4 1/2' long)
    • One 9" piece
    • One 6 1/2" piece
    • Two 8" pieces
    • Two 10" pieces
  • 1/4" Doweling
    • One 7" piece
  • Tools
    • Drill (1/4" bit)
    • Hammer
    • Saw
    • Ruler
    • Protractor
  • Small, 1 1/2" long, galvanized nails
  • Screw in hanging hook
  • Paint
  • Small and Large Paint Brushes
  • Outdoor Varnish
  • Design supplies (optional)
Cut the wood pieces:
  • Have the wood cut into pieces at the hardware store where you purchase it or cut it yourself into the measurements given above.
  • Next, cut 3/4" off the long side of one of the 10" pieces.
  • Also, to form the top of the birdhouse, find the top and center of each of the 8" pieces. (The top and center would be the center of the 5 1/2" side)
  • For each 8" piece, using the protractor, lightly draw two 45 degree angles, starting from the top and center point.
  • Cut along the angle lines. These are now the front and back of the birdfeeder.
  • Take the front piece and make a small mark on the lower right corner, 1" from the bottom and 1" from the side.
  • Take the back piece and make a small mark on the lower left corner, 1" from the bottom and 1" from the side.
  • Using the 1/4" drill bit, drill a hole about 1/2" deep into the wood at each of the marks.
Paint or Stain the Wood:
  • Paint all the wood. (10" pieces are for the roof. Our birdhouse was done in Satin Creme with a Navy roof.)
Assemble the Bird Feeder:



  • Nail the front piece to the side (6 1/2" piece) as shown in Step #1. (the side wall goes inside the front)
  • Place the 7" dowel into the hole.
  • As you align the back piece to the side, carefully slip the other end of the dowel into the hole.
  • Nail the back piece to the side piece as shown in Step#2.
  • Arrange the wall assembly onto the bottom (9") so that the back is even with the bottom edge and there is an extra 1" in the front. Step #3.
  • Nail in place.
  • Nail the small roof piece onto the backside of the birdfeeder. Step #4 (Make sure that the edge at the top is flush with the angle for the front side.)
  • Nail the large roof piece onto the front side of the birdfeeder. Step #5 (There should be a point formed at the top of the birdhouse as shown.)
  • Paint over the nails.
Paint on a design. (optional):
  • To use our design, click on the link in the materials list above.
  • Using carbon paper and a pencil, transfer the design onto the front, side, and back of the bird feeder.
  • Colors used are as follows:
    • Sunflower Seed Packet
      • Packet - Hunter Green
      • Flower Center - Brown
      • Flower Petals - Yellow/Satin Creme
      • Name - Satin Creme
    • Forget-Me-Not Seed Packet
      • Packet - Light Beige
      • Leaves & Stems - Medium Green w/Dark Green Lines
      • Flower Petals - Baltic Blue
      • Flower Centers - Satin Creme
      • Name - Satin Creme
    • Pumpkin Seed Packet
      • Packet - Brandy Wine
      • Pumpkin - Georgia Clay/Satin Creme (Ribs Highlighted with a lighter mixture)
      • Stem - Brown
      • Vine - Medium Green
      • Name - Satin Creme
    • Bumble Bee
      • Black
      • Yellow
      • Wings - White
  • Screw a hanging hook into the top, hang the birdfeeder outside, place a birdseed block in it, and enjoy!
© Copyright 2000 by AOK Corral Craft and Gift Bazaar.  All rights reserved.



2. Plant Some Flowers!
Everyone loves to see and smell beautiful flowers and some flowers in a pretty pot or a small garden bed is a nice gift for a new home owner. All you need is some flower seeds or seedlings, some potting soil, Miracle Grow or another plant fertilizer, water and some trowels for digging in the dirt.
Look for a seed packet of wildflowers or a variety pack if you can't decide or try these varieties below. They are safe for children and grow very easily. (Provided by mainstreetmom.com)
Nasturtium:These are fun to grow from seed for children! You can plant the large seeds outside as soon as the heavy frosts are past. If you plant them in the ground leave 12 inches of space between each seed. Plant the seed in a small hole about 1 inch deep, and cover it with soil. Plant a row as long or short as you have room for. If you want to, you may also plant them in a container, but put them closer together. One package usually has about 20 or 25 seeds. They will pop out of the ground in about a week. They are slow to start but will fill out and grow quickly once they get started. Keep the Nasturtiums well watered at all times; especially if you are not getting a lot of rain. The blooms have a peppery taste and can be used in salads.
Calendula: This flower is also known as a Pot Marigold. They are pretty yellow-orange, daisy like flowers, and are VERY easy to grow. You can plant them as soon as you can work the soil; even if it is still cold! Space the seeds about 8 inches apart, and plant one inch deep. They will take about 10 days to start growing. Calendulas will keep blooming all summer long if you keep cutting off the old ones. In the early fall you can stop cutting them and they will form seeds that you can put away in envelopes for next year! They are also known as a self seeder, which means if you leave some of the seeds on the plant they will fall to the ground and pop up next year. You simply thin the ones you don't want and leave the rest to grow. Once you grow these, you won't have to buy seeds again, and you will also have plenty to give away to friends.

Thumbelina Zinnia: Zinnias come in all sizes and colors, and they are all planted the same way. We like the Thumbelinas because they are a shorter and smaller variety. You must wait until it is warm outside before you plant the Zinnia seeds. They do not tolerate even a light frost. Plant the seeds 8 to 10 inches apart. You may have to thin the seedlings later if they are too close. Zinnia's like to have space so the air can flow around their leaves. They need lots of sun too, so plant in an area with full sun. If you give them what they need they will grow and bloom until the first frost in the fall. Be sure to cut them for small bouquets as they bloom, and this will help the plant to continue blooming.

Other Easy Flowers
Bachelor's Button: This is also known as a Cornflower. They are easy to grow, but also need lots of sun. Plant them about 6 to 8 inches apart, and one inch deep. When they start blooming make sure you pick off the dead ones so they will bloom until fall. They can be cut and hung to dry to be used in dried flower arrangements.

Borage: This is really an herb, and it needs lots of room, but I wanted to list it in case you had a big pot or a larger sunny spot. One plant needs about 12 inches all the way around. It's leaves are large and it has dainty blue flowers which come up from the center of the leaves. It is edible too! The young leaves can be used in salads and herbal recipes. The flowers can be used as cake decorations.

Moss Roses: These are known as Portulacas. The colors are brilliant, and the plant sets on the ground with the flowers trailing. They do not need care once started; just occasional watering. They work well for containers or window boxes too. After your last frost, prepare your soil by working it so it is loose and sprinkle the seeds on the area you want them to grow. Lightly cover with some extra soil, and water well, but gently. Be sure to mark the area, so you will remember they are planted. They are slow to start, but really take off later! These are great for areas that are rather dry.

All of these varieties are simple to plant and grow, plus they are safe for children. Whether you use pots, window boxes, or small plots of soil, your children will love being involved in the gardening process. The younger you start teaching your children to appreciate the simple beauty of flowers, the more they will learn to care and nurture the earth around them.

For more kid's gardening and activities visit Brenda at The Treehouse.
http://www.seedsofknowledge.com/treehouse.htm where she helps families preserve and create traditions and memories through features, crafts, recipes and projects.
3. Make a welcome sign for the partner family!

(from gardenguides.com, written by Margaret Telsch-Williams- a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.)


A handmade sign can welcome visitors to your garden with quaint lettering and chic designs of flowers, birds or butterflies. To make a wooden welcome sign you only need a few tools and a plan in mind for how you want your sign to look. Once your sign is complete you can mount it to a garden fence, attach it to its own post or hang it from a tree branch or shepherd’s hook.

Step 1

Sketch out a few design ideas on a sheet of paper for how you want your welcome sign to look. You can use all capitals for your lettering or just have a more exaggerated “W” for the beginning of the word “welcome.” Also plan if you want to include whimsical designs around the word “welcome” on your sign.

Step 2

Sand over the entire surface of your board to remove rough surfaces and round the edges of the wood. Dust the sanded board with a clean wide paintbrush or cloth to remove any stray sanding dust.

Step 3

Apply a coat of primer to the entire board to prepare it for painting. Allow the primer to dry for up to an hour until it no longer feels tacky.


Step 4

Lightly draw the outline of your “welcome” letters as well as any other design items you have planned. Paint your sign along your drawn lines starting with the word “welcome” and add in other items in the colors you prefer. Allow all of the paint to dry for two hours.


Step 5

Spray your sign with clear coat sealant in a well ventilated area or outdoors. Use long, sweeping motions to get a consistent coating over the paint. Let the sealant dry overnight before mounting or hanging your sign.

So now you can pick a project and get started! Make sure you call our office first, 218.749.8910, to  ask about a family to make the project for. We would be happy to suggest a family for you. This is also a great way to get to know some of wonderful partner families!
Parents: All of these projects should be done under constant supervision of a responsible adult.