Children of school age and older are capable of acquiring do-it-yourself skills no matter how “handy” they think or you’ve told them they are.
These are the top 5 skills we think every child and adult should have that will definitely empower them to tackle a variety of household tasks and projects.
1. Drive a Nail
Properly using a hammer is an underrated skill. If you smash your fingers once you’ll also be unlikely and tentative to try again so start by learning the correct way and lightly tap a nail to get it started then take a couple forceful swings letting the weight of the hammer work and gripping towards the bottom of the handle and using bending your elbow as you swing.
2. Use a Drill/Driver
Most consumer/do-it-yourself drills are also great for driving screws. Learn how to properly tighten the chuck and adjust the clutch for the right amount of resistance which will depend on the material you are driving a screw into and how deep you want that screw. Learn how to determine the correct drill bit and how to safely use the drill.
3. Use a Level
Levels are simple tools but indispensable when it comes to installing shelves, pictures or creating any level surface. Water levels are the easiest to use and all that’s required is reading the bubble. If the bubble sits in the middle of the two lines or in the middle of the circle then you’re level.
4. Read Instructions
This may seem basic but many of us can get into the habit of glossing over instructions and directions for assembling a flatpack piece of furniture or assembling a new toy. Check your inventory of parts and make sure you have all of the proper tools available. A few manufacturers (IKEA) only provide sparse directions that also require that you look closely at the diagrams. Take your time and don’t rush it. You may have to do something over but hopefully you don’t go to far before realizing your mistakes.
5. Consider Safety
How many times have you got sawdust in your eyes or cut your fingers when you know that by wearing eye protection or gloves would have easily avoided that situation. Hindsight is always 20/20 and if you get into the habit of always considering what safety gear you need before starting a project you will carry that habit into adulthood and possibly save yourself some pain and frustration or even an injury.
What other DIY skills would you add to this list?