I tend to dabble in a variety of arts and crafts, but have never considered myself much of a woodworker. However, my dad’s an engineer and my grandpa is a carpenter. So when I decided I wanted to build a set of lounge chairs for my front yard, I think I assumed, “It’s in my blood!” My husband and I would figure it out without a problem.
It took weeks of planning, shopping for supplies, settling on design choices, and actually building our chairs. But we finally have them displayed in our garden, and the seats have become our favorite spot to hang out while the kids play outside!
That sense of pride, accomplishment, and excitement that comes from creating something new is something I want my kids to experience in their own lives. I’m all about helping them learn new skills that make them feel more capable and independent.
When my family recently attended our first Home Depot Kids Workshop, I loved watching my son pick up a hammer and screwdriver and get to work on his own kid-sized woodworking project. Think your family could benefit from a fun, totally free weekend activity and learning opportunity? You absolutely want to put these monthly workshops on your calendar!
Free Kids Workshops On First Saturdays
From 9 am-Noon on the first Saturday of each month, take your kids to a Home Depot near you for a FREE Kids Workshop. All Home Depot locations participate and registration is not required!
When my family arrived at the Carmel store, it took us a minute to find the workshop. There were no signs at the front of the store indicating that any sort of programming was happening. You may need to ask a store employee for directions. In our case, we eventually spotted a sign directing us to one of the lumber aisles.
Collect Project Pins on Your Own Orange Apron
This aisle was definitely set up for an event! The store provides makeshift workbenches and seating made from overturned buckets, plywood, and planks. There’s space for tons of families.
Stop by the welcome table to sign in—mainly to keep a headcount—and pick up your project kit. If this is your first workshop, each child will receive their own orange Home Depot apron. It’s great protection from any paint messiness that occurs while your child is working, but the apron also serves as a place to start collecting your Home Depot Workshop pins.
Inside your child’s project kit, you’ll find a small metal pin depicting that week’s project and the date. Attach this little memento to the apron and keep adding each time you return! We saw kids come in with aprons completely decorated with pins. These workshops are obviously beloved by so many families!
After picking up your kit, grab a seat at the woodworking station. Simple tools needed for your project are provided on the table and shared between kids. For our specific project, we used lightweight hammers and screwdrivers to make a pencil-shaped pencil holder.
Kids get to make a new design each month, and projects are announced ahead of time on the Home Depot website. Each kit contains detailed, step-by-step instructions with pictures that older children will likely be able to follow on their own. Younger kids will need assistance with reading, holding pieces of wood together, and affixing nails and screws.
Don’t Forget to Decorate Your Design!
Assembly was complex enough to be a challenge, even for the older kids at our table, but the crafts went together fast enough that everyone stayed engaged. Expect to spend 10-15 minutes on the project before moving to the painting table in a different section of the aisle. Here, the young woodworkers are free to get creative and decorate their work to their heart’s content. Kids had several paint colors to choose from the day we were there. Our kit also included stickers specific to the design.
Getting your painted project home may prove messy! Some families opted to wait to paint at home with their own supplies. If you want to paint in the store, come prepared with a box or expect to carefully balance a wet project on a paper towel on the drive home—like I did.
Learn, Have Fun, and Get Your Shopping Done
These workshops are a win for all involved. Kids love this completely free activity and get to pick up some basic woodworking skills while they’re there. The store associate running the workshop told me he’s heard from parents who have been coming for years that they credit these projects with teaching their child how to follow instructions, use simple tools, and even come up with their own designs.
Parents and caregivers get to spend quality time creating with their kids in a laid-back environment. And let’s face it—Home Depot also wins here! We definitely picked up a can of paint we may have bought elsewhere just because we were in the store. May as well combine family fun and errands.
Home Depot recommends these workshops for ages 5-12, but my 3.5 year old did just fine with some help, and absolutely loved the experience! We’ve already got next month’s workshop on the calendar so we can go again and collect our next pin. If your family could use a free, fun weekend activity, just head to any Home Depot on the first Saturday of the month!