Walking out of Lowe’s this past weekend, I noticed a sign posted on the door that was promoting “Build And Grow Clinics” for kids. Since my children – and my son especially – are always interested in helping me make things, the poster caught my eye.
Lowe’s has been offering how-to clinics to the DIY crowd since 1993 and much of their how-to library has been online for several years. Around 2000, someone noticed the growing number of kids tagging along with their parents to these how-to clinics and thought it would be a good idea to offer a program just for children. The Build & Grow Clinics were born shortly after this decision.
The Build & Grow Clinics take place approximately every other week at Lowe’s stores across the country. Each clinic involves the construction of a different project, with seasonal holidays and events featuring strongly in the mix – a birdhouse in spring, a jewelry organizer for Valentine’s Day or an ornament for Christmas.
Kids and their parents (or an aunt, grandfather or family friend) can attend a clinic and build that week’s project and take it home – it’s theirs to keep. Kids also get to take home a shop apron and a certificate showing they attended and completed that week’s project. The entire clinic is available at no cost and there is no limit to the number of clinics you and your child attend. Clinics are aimed at kids from age 2-11 and bilingual support is available, as is assistance for people with disabilities.
According to Lowe’s, the clinics have been very popular, with up to 50 kids attending any single event (Lowe’s recommends you sign up before attending, although it’s not absolutely required). In addition to the project, kids learn important safety tips when working with tools and there is often an education component tied to a project, such as the fire safety message tied to the wooden fire truck kids built during fire prevention month in October.
Check with your local Lowe’s to learn the schedule for the next Build & Grow Clinic near you.