Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Holidays are Family Building Time

The winter break is a great time to get grounded with family, sleep a bit more, and complete some home projects. While the recent weather makes us think there is still outside work to do, don’t be fooled, the cold will come upon us hard and fast, so let it go and plan on interior projects. This year I am thinking of completing some easy at home projects, plus a few other ideas to spur my inner craftsman.

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Ginger Bread House

Kids need more hands on exposures in life, as well as a fundamental concept of how things are made. And nothing is sweeter, easier, and more fun than a ginger bread house. There are many in the box store bought variations to challenge your inner builder, starting from the basic to extreme homes. But making your own from scratch is a lot of fun, and educational.

Last year my family and I made the ice castle from Frozen, which brought out the best of my wife’s artistic skills and my technical design. Making your own develops great foundation skills in kids and adults alike. Consider it a STEAM project, which is an education innovation built on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and championed by RISD. It uses the science of baking, technology of manufacturing food, engineering the structural stability of gingerbread and sugar, the art of design, mathematical proportions, and the best part being the physical effects of sugar on personality and actions. Well, the last part is more a life lesson than a life skill, but the idea of building a house out of food is fun, educational, and yummy.

Painting

Freshening up a room always feels good. Our family has always had fun playing with colors, and my daughter is no exception. Acting 15 years old at 9 offers opinions and skills critical for beautification. She explored her true color passions; clearly going away from the standard gender based color scheme and into is the color scheme of an opinionated young woman. We looked through the color fan deck and picked out some pretty radical colors, with my suggestions only to provide color balance, staying away from saying “ew”. We bought some small test color pints and did a large area, since seeing it in place is better than a small color swatch. If you are particular like me, have the inexperienced participants roll walls while you paint the trim.

Woodworking

iPad Holder

iPad Holder

Cutting Board

Cutting Board

For the past 4 years we have hosted a group of Met School (Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center) students in our shop. In previous sessions we had students observe and participate in the company’s shop-based projects or one big project, but this year we are choosing many smaller projects. The projects include: a strong box or basically a box with a door, a cutting board, and an iPad holder. These projects require shop tools and some higher skills with close oversight, but you can scale them to your tools and skill level. The level of design, math, art, and patience is a great way to grab their attention, as well as create a sense of appreciation and pride in making something they will use everyday.

Popsicle Stick House

So this has to be one of my greatest childhood memories and achievable adult projects. All it takes is some white glue and a box full of Popsicle sticks. Add in some crazy pom poms, googly eyes, craft or construction paper, and other creative items for an art supply store, and you too can create things right out of a Tim Burton movie.

So hunker down and enjoy the winter by strengthening relationships and the skills we all need for success.