Several weeks ago, my daughter and I were out shopping. She was on a mission to exchange all $32 she had on a gift card, with some kind of toy(s)! If there is one thing she is determined to do, it is to spend money and every last penny at that! Unfortunately, I can remember being just like her!
As we walked through the store and perused the toy isles, we undoubtedly landed at the baby doll section. Even though she has plenty of baby dolls to run her very own baby doll daycare, she always needs just one more! As she looked, she began to settle on one item that included two tiny baby dolls that were accompanied by a miniature bunk bed and I believe two miniature rocking horses as well. If memory serves me correctly, the package deal was going to cost around $26.
As I looked at the item more and more and realizing that regardless of all these toys being over priced for the quality you get, I felt she could make her money go further. I also believed that she would quickly shove the new toys into a corner once we got past day three with the toys at home. I convinced her to look at two items she could buy for essentially the same price and would probably play with more. I also used the opportunity to promise her that we could build a much better bunk bed and she wouldn’t have to pay a dime for it! With that, she was sold, and now daddy and her had a project! Oh, and we did leave with the other two items I suggested!
Since we celebrated Easter a day earlier and the actual Easter day was a glorious one weather wise, we busted out the table saw and the free pallet wood I had and got to work. I asked my daughter to start by drawing out her idea. I wanted her to see how the project needed to start, it needed a plan. Although she likes to draw, this task was quickly turning into frustration, so we turned to the good ol’ Internet to find something that worked. We settled on the following project from ana-white.com.
With the plan in place and after I got some initial pallet pieces squared and cut down to size, we measured out the various pieces we needed. She would measure and I would cut.
One interesting tid-bit about my daughter, you may think the project took two days because she is wearing two different outfits in them. Not the case. My daughter has a tendency to increase the laundry chore a bit in our household. During the time I was cutting the measured pieces, she decided some new clothing was in order!
Next, she loved using the wood glue. Mostly it was because of the fact that when it dried on her finger she could peel it off. As she began putting glue on, I explained to her that I would let her use the air nailer next. She was intimidated by the thought of using the tool, but after she shot in the first few nails, she enjoyed it!
I requested that she avoid shooting me with a nail but I don’t think she made any guarantees! Thankfully I didn’t feel any metal enter my fingers. She enjoyed the air nailer so much that when she started sanding the first section of the frame while I started to arrange the second end piece, she asked me not to do the nailing so that she could. I can’t say that I didn’t have a smile on my face watching her enjoy the process!
It was fun listening to her try another new aspect to the project. She was being introduced to a lot of new tools and sanding was becoming a quick favorite as well. After she sanded for just a few seconds, she would rub her hand along the wood and say, “it’s so smooth!”
I am really hoping that she is really enjoying the benefit to building things and seeing the result of her hard work. Ok, really I just want her to have fun and be proud of what she built!
She started to see how the bed was coming together as we connected both bed frame ends. We were only able to connect a few more pieces before it was time to call it quits for the day, but I could tell she was loving what she had learned.
At this point the bunk bed is only half way done. But in the few hours that we spent on this project, I’ve truly enjoyed watching my daughter get excited about using new tools, seeing her work become a reality, and anticipating working on it again. So stay tuned fort part 2 of the project where I’ll share the finished project!
In the mean time, please share any projects you may have worked on with your kids, I’d love to hear about them! It might inspire our next project!