Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Kallie Tapia-Downing, 5, left, and her brother, Emiliano Tapia Downing, 3, work diligently on completing their birdhouse project.
Children build observational birdhouses at Home Depot Kids Workshop
By Jon Johnson
THATCHER – At the Home Depot Kids Workshop, attendees build memories as well as projects.
On the first Saturday of the month, Home Depot stores around the country sponsor a free class for children called the Home Depot Kids Workshop. The workshop brings adults and children together to participate in building a project, that also helps build relationships.
The workshop is easy to find, just follow the sounds of hammering – usually in the supply section adjacent to the garden center – and the buzzing of children hard at work. Projects usually consist of some slight hammering of small nails or attaching a couple screws to build a wooden object, which the children can then paint or adorn with stickers. The workshops are a free activity.
Last Saturday’s workshop featured a wooden window birdhouse, which children constructed and painted to taste. The materials included suction cups to allow the birdhouse, which had its own window, to attach to a resident’s window, so the birds could be viewed as they visited the birdhouse and ate.
Kami Tapia-Downing brought her children, Kallie Tapia-Downing, 5, and Emiliano Tapia-Downing, 3, to the class Saturday. She said her family has enjoyed the classes over the years and that she takes them as often as they can make it.
“It’s neat to have something that’s free and for the kids to have something they enjoy so much,” Kami Tapia-Downing said. “So many things cost a lot of money to do with kids and this is free and every month. This year, the little things that they are doing are better than ever. We’ve been doing it for about three years and these are the best ones they’ve ever had.”
The workshops are designed for children ages 5-12, but all ages are welcome. Workshop attendees have to be accompanied by an adult at all times. The workshop generally runs from 9 – 11 a.m., but be wary, popular items can run out, so it’s best to make it there earlier than later.
Kami said she likes to take a hands-off approach and let her children do as much of the construction themselves and only helps out if necessary.
There is a different project every month and upon completion of each one, children receive a certificate and pin. Some children also have Home Depot smocks, which become adorned with the numerous pins of their past project accomplishments.
Khloe Dryden, 5, was busily finishing painting her birdhouse when the Gila Herald approached, her smock loaded with pins.
Next week’s project, which will take place Saturday, May 5, will be a windmill planter. The build will allow parents a chance to discuss the benefits of non-polluting sustainable energy as they build a model windmill that holds a season flower or low-maintenance herb. With the build being just in time for Mother’s Day, perhaps a handmade planter with a beautiful flower is just the gift to show mom how much she means to the little ones.