Build and Grow and Kids Workshops – Free Weekend Fun

Did you know that both Lowes and Home Depot have free crafts every single month that your kids can make? You get a free apron, patches or pins, a certificate (at Lowes), and a craft to make, paint/sticker, and take home. This is a fun way for younger kids to spend a Saturday morning. I’ve been taking my older boys (ages 13 and 9 now) to these workshops for years. You might think this is just a tip for boys, but I’ve seen plenty of girls at these workshops having a great time.  This is a great opportunity to have kids make a gift for someone else. For example, last month was making whiteboards, and I had each boy paint one for their grandmothers upcoming birthday. This next month at Home Depot will be the fire safety event complete with firetrucks and firefighters!

img_0912I love Build and Grow!

Reviews – what’s the difference?

Now you might think these are both the same – after all, in both you get to build something and take it home, you get an apron, and you get to decorate it. But there are a few differences that you should be aware of:

Lowes: You assemble a craft that’s typically sponsored by some company. Superhero movies, Minions, etc. The assembly uses nails only, and depending on the build can be tricky to make. Usually these need more adult assistance (especially for young kids) than the ones you’d find at Home Depot. The items you build use stickers, not paint, to decorate – so it can be easier but less creative. You get nice patches, but they can add up quickly to too many to fit on the apron.  My kids have more outgrown these – the items you build are mostly toys, which I found were many times not played with. The fun was in building, not in playing. This depends on the age of the kid, of course; when they were younger they did play with the toys a bit. Also you need to be ON TIME. At least at my Lowes, the activities start at 10 on the dot. You need to get there early and they find you on a list of registrants. If you didn’t register, you’re out of luck. And if you did register but you’re late, they will give away your spot.

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Here’s a Lowes craft, hanging on for dear life

Home Depot: These crafts are usually not sponsored by a company. You make items that tend to be more useful – whiteboards, flower pots, etc. – although there are toys as well. They make better gifts than the Lowes option and kids don’t outgrow them as quickly.  The creation involves both wood glue and nails, and they tend to be easier for kids to do by themselves (although some adult help can be required, depending on the age of the kid). Also they tend to have more going on than just the craft. At Christmas time they’ll feature Santa and candy canes; for October they let you paint free pumpkins and sit in a fire truck. This may vary by store, of course. At my Home Depot, you don’t need to be exactly on time – heck, you can just walk in without registering and still make the craft. And the events go from 9-12 so you can come do the craft anytime between those times.

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Made and painted a fun car!

Three Family Financial Lessons from Build and Grow and Kids Workshops:

Fun can be free! – You don’t need to spend money to have a fun morning. By signing up for these workshops your kids have a fun time without costing you anything. They can also keep the apron and wear it around the house while playing, and play with the toys they made or give them as gifts. Some of the patches are really cool – my middle son has one set from last summer’s superhero build on his backpack [insert picture]

Bargain Hunting – You need to make sure you’re on the lookout for the registration timeframe. Too late and the workshop may be full (especially Lowes!) – too early and you can’t sign up yet. If this is something your kids enjoy you’ll want to put a reminder on your calendar to check the websites every month and sign up. If you sign your kids up for both, that’s two free Saturday mornings a month of fun! [picture]

Making the ordinary a little special – These workshops can be a good way to kick off a morning of running errands by doing something fun for the kids before the boringness of shopping. If there’s something you need to pick up at Lowes or Home Depot, see if you can wait until a workshop day. That way your kids have fun and you get your errands done at the same time. [picture]

Check them out and give the next workshop a try! Hopefully your kids will love it just as much as mine.

Lowes: Build and Grow

Home Depot: Kids Workshops

Have you tried the Build and Grow or Kids Workshops with your family? What was their favorite craft? Let me know in the comments or drop me an email at Liz@chiefmomofficer.org.

Want to learn more about teaching kids about money? Check out this great page with my top articles and resources I’ve found from around the web.

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chiefmomofficer

IT professional, MBA, working mother of three, avid reader, geek and personal finance nerd

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