“My two daughters always ask to help me when I get something from IKEA that needs putting together,” says mum of two, Emma. “Normally, I don’t trust them to do much more than twist the Allen key a few times, but recently I bought two stools and thought: Why not let them have a go? My eldest did one on her own and was really careful and methodical about it. Honestly, she did a better job than me.”
Learning how to make simple boxes – or the billy carts Built By Kidz Parties gets older age group children to make at parties and school holiday camps – is a great way for girls to combine practical skills and creativity.
And if parents still aren’t convinced that letting their daughters loose with the family power tools is a good idea, just remember how much the local tradie charges for a quick DIY job. This fun hobby might save the family a few bucks – or even open up their daughter’s horizons to a building- or engineering-based career or study path further down the line.
With schools and educators always trying to encourage more girls to take up STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) in high school and beyond, this could be the start of something special.
Nine-year-old Ruby’s probably not planning her uni application yet, but she seems pretty certain that her first experience of building won’t be her last. “It was epic,” she says, having recently attended a Built By Kidz Party. “I made an awesome slide box and then we all worked together to build a billy kart which we rode around the playground. It was easier than I thought, so I’m going to build a bird feeder for our garden next. I just need to ask Mum and Dad if I can borrow a saw and some nails.”
Hopefully they’ll say yes. After all, Ruby might end up building them a family house in a few years.