|Quinn, Mona, and Aden making Thanksgiving napkin holders|
The genius of this from a marketing standpoint is that you get families into the store to do something free, it's likely they may buy something else they need while they are there, they develop good feeling about the store in general since it made kids happy, plus you get kids using tools and developing skills to make things which means they are more likely to be future customers themselves one day. All very smart.
So I'm not blind to how this plays into the hands of the company, but that doesn't make it any less fun. My kids are excited every month to head to Home Depot and do the next project. We've even gone to a different one in Michigan while we were on vacation because the kids didn't want to miss out. There is better seating at our Home Depot in Milwaukee, but the one in Michigan gave out cookies.
|Quinn and his dad making a toy goal post|
One of the most elaborate project mornings was the one for the toy fire truck. Everyone got hats, they had a real fire truck on hand for kids to see, there were fire safety materials and coloring books, and two horses for some reason.
The only complaint my kids ever have is that the painting station only offers those clumsy sponge brushes. Aden in particular manages to get some nice results with them anyway, and Mona will occasionally opt to just paint things at home. Quinn never paints his projects.
|Mona painting a box for Valentines|
Seriously? The star pin doesn't mean anything and will impress no one. It won't help get her into Harvard or show up on her permanent record or even get her farther ahead in the lunch line. It only means something to the person who knows he or she earned it, and why would Mona lie about earning it? Frankly, even if she did, who cares? It's a cheap, silly pin. If it makes her a customer for life they should just give it to her.
But one stick-in-the-mud teenager won't dampen our enthusiasm for building projects. Being able to make things out of wood is one of my favorite things in the world, and I appreciate a program like this that opens that possibility to any kid who wants to try.
I don't know if any of my kids will follow in my footsteps and want to learn anything about instrument making. I'm ready and willing to teach them if they decide to. In the meantime I love the little boxes and birdhouses they create, and I like the pride they show in their work. So good on Home Depot for such a nice idea. (See you hammer in hand next month.)