Training a Little Helper (by Constructing a Raised Garden Bed)

Submitted by scott

Inspired by a recent Popular Mechanic's article detailing how to build a raised garden, and also in preparation for 2012 and whatever it may bring, I decided to construct a raised garden for my wife. This way we will be able to enjoy some nice veggies grown in our own back yard.

I figured this would be a great time to start grooming the three year old to be my little helper. After all, she loves being all up in everyone's business, so what better thing to do than put her to work.

The first thing on our list was to gather materials. In case you're following along at home and want to build your own raised bed, here's what we had to purchase for a 3x6 bed:

  • 4 1x6x10 cedar boards
  • 1 8' 2x2
  • 1 box 3'' galvanized nails (could have probably been 2 ½ or 2 ¾ )
  • Approximately 12 cubic feet of dirt

After purchasing the materials, and stuffing them into our car, the three year old and I were headed home to spend some quality time building stuff. Things started off well enough, especially since she loves tape measures and quickly grasped the concept of holding the 'little silver thingy' at the very end of the board. Soon everything was measured and ready to be cut.

Then came the circular saw in all it's laser guided glory. In mere seconds, the awe and wonder of the little red light coming from the saw was transformed into terror (don't worry, I didn't chop off any of the three year olds limbs). The sound of the saw sent the three year old crying to her momma. Apparently she couldn't handle the brilliance of her first minor power tool experience.

Eventually, she gathered herself and we were able to complete the job, albeit in three times the amount of time it would have taken me alone. But my questions of the day are... did I start the training a little early? Should I even bother teaching my daughter construction basics, or should I just stick to playing princesses? Or perhaps for the first project the power tools should have remained silent. These, my friends, are the questions that keep me up at night.

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