Keep your kiddos busy by tackling a midsummer project together. There are building plans that appeal to every age group. Rig a mini rock-climbing wall with your little ones. Hack an iPhone speaker with your older kids. Or set up a soccer goal that will get the whole family on their feet. So roll up your sleeves and get ready for a family DIY day!
1. Rock Climbing Wall
This indoor climbing wall, designed by Heather Young, of the Growing Spaces blog, will get the young ones moving even on rainy days. Your child can help you lay out the holds and screw them in, but you'll want to mount the boards on the wall yourself. Once the wall is up, you and your kid can decorate it any way you like. Copy Heather's green mountains or get creative.
Learn more about Young's project on Growing Spaces.
2. Balance Board
Agnes Hsu, founder of the blog hello, Wonderful, wanted to make a toy for her youngsters that was safer than a skateboard or an indo board. So she bolted a piece of PVC pipe to the middle of the underside of a skateboard deck.
The result: an easy three-step balance board that got the little ones rolling enough for them to practice stability but not fast enough to lose control. Get your children to help paint the rollers and design their decks. Before you know it, the whole family will be giving it a go.
More DIY: For a bigger challenge, cut a wood deck yourself.
For the full how-to, check out Agnes's post on hello, Wonderful.
3. Tree Swing
Have a sturdy tree that's just begging for a swing? This classic rope swing is easy to set up and fun for the whole family. Stand by while your kids help measure and cut the seat. Once it's crafted, let them add the finishing touches.
View This Old House’s step-by-step plans.
4. Smartphone Speaker
This rustic-modern phone amplifier, thought up by blogger Ashley Johnston, of Make It and Love It, will thrill older kids. Assembly is a breeze—no wires or batteries required—and it's easy to customize the design to fit your phone.
Kids can help at every step, and using the precise measurements and crafting the small pieces will help them learn simple woodworking skills. Give your speaker a personal touch with your favorite stain or paint. Now just set your phone inside and dance away!
Get the instructions for Ashley's speakers on Make It and Love It.
5. Raised Vegetable Garden
Do green thumbs run in the family? Start teaching your little ones how to properly care for plants with this easy-to-build garden frame. Assembly only takes about two hours, but tending crops will keep you and your kids busy season after season.
We guarantee you'll grow more than tasty fruits and veggies—just watch your children's smiles grow as they reap the rewards of their hard work.
This Old House TV landscape contractor Roger Cook shows you how it's done here.
6. Pallet Playhouse
Blogger Rayan Turner, of The Design Confidential, calls this DIY pallet project "one part outdoor chaise daybed lounge, one part twin-size bed, and one part indoor or outdoor playhouse."
Let your child's imagination decide what role it will play in your home. It can easily be transformed into a tent on the prairie, a hut in the jungle, or a fort on an army base. This project is a bit more complicated than the others listed, but kids can pitch in by measuring cuts and joining boards while learning about more-advanced tools and carpentry.
Find Rayan's plans for this project on The Design Confidential.
7. Soccer Goal
Nothing gets the whole family moving like a game of backyard soccer. Construct your own goal out of PVC pipe and deer netting. Kids can practice using a hacksaw safely and help attach the net. In two hours, you'll be ready to play!
Check out This Old House’s how-to here.