Home depot regularly advertises free monthly workshops on their website. These are held on the first Saturday of each month at stores throughout the country. The website encourages kids aged 5-12 to attend, and the programs run from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Projects in kit form are supplied by Home depot. The kits range from fire trucks, a window birdhouse, a toolbox and mail organizers, and the kids have to glue and nail these together. The workshops are free of charge and include a kid-sized trademark orange Home Depot apron and achievement pin.
At the annual Midsommar Festival – Swedish Days in Geneva, Illinois, these same Home Depot sponsored workshops are presented together with activities such as a pet parade and pie-eating contest. An online article from TheGenevaSun.com specifically highlights the Home Depot involvement in at the festival as benefiting both children and adults. The Swedish Days Festival in Geneva is therefore touted as the “’Granddaddy’ of Illinois Festivals.”
The Home Depot Kids Workshop has been part of Swedish Days for the past six years. It is a big hit with kids and parents alike. Held at the festival’s “Creation Station,” this year’s small woodworking project was the toolbox mentioned above. Home Depot provided the materials in the form of a pre-cut kit. The children, some as young as a year and a half, have to glue and nail and glue the toolbox together and received a certificate of achievement upon completion. Miniature trademark orange Home Depot apron are issued to each child participating, adding to the festive spirit that is a hallmark of the festival. Each kid can also take their completed toolbox home to celebrate the start of their woodworking careers.
An employee at Geneva Home Depot, Terri Skaar, says that the parents enjoy the workshops as much as the kids do and claims that the workshops are a big draw at the Swedish Days festival. On their website, Home Depot say that their Saturday workshops allow for quality one-on-one time between adults and children, thus benefitting both kids and parents. A sense of accomplishment is instilled in children while they are taught tool safety and do-it-yourself skills. Skaar’s biggest reward is the children’s smile and he adds that they take a lot of pride in their work.
Home Depot will probably be part of the Swedish Days festival for years to come as the whole family benefits from the kids’ woodworking workshops.