For more than a year our kids have been huge fans of the FREE Lego build at Lego stores on the first Tuesday of every month. Today we experienced our first FREE construction build at our local Home Depot store. On the 2nd Saturday of EVERY month, Home Depot welcomes kids and their parents to come and build a new construction project for FREE.

In honour of this month’s project falling on Valentine’s Day the kids were able to construct a heart box. Home Depot recommends the activity for 4-12 year olds. Our kids are 4 & 6 years and I agree that any younger than 4 is not the best idea. While certainly littler kids were present, there isn’t a whole lot of successful hammering the 3 and under crowd can do.

Upon arrival our kids were given their own bright orange apron. A pin – with the image of today’s heart box – was provided to add to their apron. I was suitably impressed by the number of kids who had oodles of project pins on their aprons. After signing a waiver the boys were given their kits, we grabbed hammers, and found a place on one of the many tables set up.

If noise is something that bothers either you or your child, please think twice about this activity. There were at least 50 hammers simultaneously banging during our 20 minute experience. I saw some rather brilliant parents who provided ear protection for their kids; I will be copying their brilliance for our next visit.

This is definitely a parent participation activity. If you figure out how to get a little one to wield a hammer on their own without sacrificing your own fingers (for the nail holding), please let me know! All I can say is I’m glad I was working with our 4 year old who has a slightly weaker hammer-swing.

The project for March is a wooden bookend; and April’s is a chalkboard flower pot holder. Both projects look terrific! The building session runs from 10am – noon. You can show up at any time, though I suspect that it is a matter of first-come-first-served. There would be a limited number of building kits. We showed up at 10:05 and had no trouble walking right in and starting to build.

This is a great Saturday morning family activity that teaches useful skills (other than the quick reflexes parents need to keep their fingers out of the way of a munchkin wielding a hammer).