7 Ways to Make Building a House Extra Fun for your Kids

7 Ways to Make Building A House Extra Fun for Your Kids

When we started talking about building a house, I knew I wanted it to be a family affair.  My desire was to involve the kids and make it fun because after all, it should be an exciting adventure.

Here are 7 things we did to make building a house extra fun for our kids:

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1. Share the plans.  Let your kids see and spend time looking at the blueprints.  My kids loved looking at where their bedrooms were going to be and the position of their windows and closets.  Now obviously, you don’t want them amending the plans, and my kids certainly had their imaginative ideas, but involving them helps build their excitement in the process.

One suggestion would be to wait, however, until the plans are more finalized so kids aren’t disappointed when their room switches from the front of the house to the back of the house and everything is rearranged.

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2.  Visit often.  We had more fun stopping at the house on the way home from school and during the summer to see what had been done that day.  I will tell you that at the beginning of the building process, things happen big and fast.  It is super exciting.  But once the walls are up, things slow down drastically as far as your kids are concerned.

 

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(Once my daughter’s room was painted, she started spending more time up there . . . dreaming and dancing.  This is one of my favorite pictures.)

3.  Make a Time Capsule or Message in a Jar to hide during construction.  Each of us wrote a note and put it in an old peanut butter jar for someone to find in the future.  I included personal information about us (names, how long we had been married, etc.) and when the house was built, along with one of my favorite Bible verses.  The kids wrote about themselves and drew pictures.  Dan wrote a letter sharing the goodness of God in our lives and in building the house.

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I debated on hiding it in a wall or in the dead space we have in the foyer, but I opted for under the back stairs.  Hopefully, it will be a good long time before our little peanut butter jar is found.

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4.  Write on the 2×4’s.  
Have your kids write their names or pick a verse to write on the framing of the house.  My kids were so excited to print their names on the doorways of their closets, claiming the space as their own.

I wanted to write so much more all over the house (like the verses I did in our last basement construction project), but I quickly saw that my builder and the contractors mark up the framing with instructions or placement notes.  And that was something I did not want to mess with!  So take care where you are writing and play it safe.

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5.  Going right along with the last idea, let your kids draw on their floors before the carpet goes down.  Let them use their imaginations, draw their favorite toy, or even just scribble if they are young.

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6.  Make a memory of how big your kids were the year you built the house by tracing their bodies on your bedroom floor.  I cannot take credit for this one because under the carpet in my mom’s room are tracings/colorings of my brother’s and my body when we were young.

My kids enjoyed this as well.  I traced both of their bodies and they colored themselves, clothing and all.  It was so fun!  And I know that years down the road {years!} when we change out carpet, I will find those precious drawings once more.

* Plywood isn’t the easiest to color on, so encourage them to do their best.

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7.  Do Something Unexpected.  We spent years working on the plans for our house and there were several “special” features that I hoped to include.  I always wanted a hidden door somewhere . . . which I got.  But since it is a secret, I can’t say right now . . . maybe on periscope one fun day.

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My son has a little passage from his bedroom closet to the bottom of the hall linen closet . . . the kind you have to crawl through.  We are also dry-walled for another kids’ clubhouse under our basement stairs.  I just have to paint and throw some carpet remnants down.

And my back stairs are unfinished so that I can {hopefully soon} paint them fun colors and on them, write verses, phrases and even the latitude and longitude of the house.

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But the best thing we did in the house was put in a slide.  Yes, a slide.  It is a fast, spiral enclosed slide that takes you from our mudroom to the basement in turbo style.  It holds up to 250lbs so adults can enjoy it as well and don’t think we haven’t!

And before you think it is out of reach from a cost standpoint, I bought it at Lowe’s for $500, plus tax.  Not a bad investment for all the fun we’re having.

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This is how it looks finished:

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Here are some ideas for unexpected fun: 

  • Secret passages
  • Hidden doors
  • A firemen pole
  • Special cubbies
  • Crawl throughs
  • A space with fun, crazy, kid-friendly colors
  • Something creative with dead space
  • A kids’ clubhouse under the basement stairs

Do it simply because . . . it is fun!

Are you building a house?  Leave a comment below and share which idea would you like to do or one of your own.

Comments

  1. My husband and I recently decided that we were going to build a home of our own, and we’ve been thinking a lot about how we can get the kids involved with the process. We haven’t been able to come up with many ideas, so I’m happy that I found your article! I really your story, and the suggestions you offered. One thing that I think we’re going to try is to visit the building site often, like you did. I think that this will be a great way for our kids to get excited about the new home that they’re going to be living in! Thank you for the great ideas!

    • Hi Vicky! Congratulations on your upcoming build. Visiting often is a great way to get the kids excited. I am sure they’ll love it. Blessings on your new home! -Kristen

  2. My husband and I started to build a home last moth and we really want to involve our children with the process. They love visiting the site and guessing where their bedrooms are going to be. When the home is built, I am going to have an interior designer sit down with my children so that they can tell him or her what they want their rooms to look like. My children are very excited about that and are always talking about what themes their future rooms are going to have. Other than dreaming about their rooms, they really haven’t gotten to do anything else. That is why I think that they will love the idea of a time capsule, because it is something that they can do now and not later.

    • Congratulations on the new build, Faylinn! That is so exciting about the interior designer doing the kids’ rooms too. I bet their rooms will look awesome. Have your kids settled in on themes? My daughter went with pink and pretty and my son chose Narnia. I’m done with my daughter’s but still working on Narnia. I missed the boat on buying a couple snowy branches in December to hang above his door. But it is coming along well. Having them help in theme and decorating is a great way to involve the kids. Thanks for sharing!!

      The time capsule is a fun thing to do. I hope they really enjoy it.

      ~ Kristen

  3. Narnia and pink seem like great themes for kids’ rooms! I have two sons and a daughter. My sons love pirates and castles and so they will probably end up combining the two themes. As for my daughter, she is obsessed with Taylor Swift and so she may have a music-themed room. However, time will tell and my children might change their minds on what they want, which is very typical of them.

    • Those sound like great themes! And yes, I know they can change their minds easily. I had already started shopping Narnia when my son started talking about different color schemes…we watched the movie again and that took care of it. 😉 But it also isn’t over the top Narnia (although that would be fun). It is a mix of old world, a lantern on his dresser, lion picture, old crown hooks for clothing and themed things for a shelf… this way he can grow with it a bit since we’re a couple years away from pre-teen. (Yikes, did I really just say that?!?)

  4. Julie Knudsen says:

    Love your ideas! We dig tomorrow and we want to celebrate somehow but not sure what to do. We thought about having dinner in the hole. Does anyone have any ideas that would be fun and memorable?

    • Julie, Congratulations!! I can’t tell you what excitement that stirs in me hearing that you start (today). It was such a neat experience to watch the house go up. Dinner at the site is a great idea. I think you should bring donut holes, for sure. Maybe a ham and swiss cheese (holes) sandwich on a bagel. Anything with holes! Lifesavers, pineapple slices . . . oh, have fun!!