3 home improvement projects for the whole family

There’s never been a better time to tackle home improvement projects. Doing it with your family is a great way to bond, stay busy and feel accomplished at the end of the day.

Here are 3 projects the whole family can do together that also have added health benefits.

1. Plant something

Studies have shown that working in a garden for just 30 minutes increases self-esteem and mood. Planting, digging and weeding are also good, low-impact forms of exercise, which is ideal for older adults. Spending time outside also offers a good dose of immune-boosting Vitamin D.

For children, studies show that gardening has calming effects, and kids who participate in after-school garden programs eat more fruits and vegetables. Even potting a plant to keep indoors is good for you: Houseplants can remove up to 87% of toxins from the air in your home.

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2. Paint something

Painting has health benefits for people of every age. It promotes emotional well being and sharpens memory, both of which are important for seniors. Painting also sparks creativity and reduces stress in children, in addition to helping them build problem-solving skills.

The best thing about home-improvement painting is that you don’t have to be an artist to do it well, and to build a sense of teamwork and accomplishment in the process. Start small.

  • Find a side table or dresser that has a few knicks.
  • Give everyone jobs removing hardware, sanding, cleaning or painting.
  • Pick a few paint colors and let the family vote on the final color.
  • Take pictures before and after so everyone can share in the transformation.

Most jobs can be done for less than $20 including sandpaper, paint and brushes. Other easy home painting projects that have a big impact include repainting the front door or the mailbox.

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3. Build something

Creating something with your own hands is satisfying, but it also has psychological benefits. Hands-on work meets the human need to make things, which promotes mental wellness. The process of building or repairing something is also key to happiness because it makes people feel effective and vital. Working with your hands also provides much needed time away from screens and fosters a sense of contentment.

Easy building projects to do with children include a sandbox, tree swing or a child-sized bench they can call their own. Older adults often enjoy birdwatching and gardening, so building a birdhouse or planter will have dual benefits down the road. Bonus: once construction is finished, you’ve got a built-in painting project teed up.

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Socially distant DIY

There are many no-touch pickup and delivery options for materials, from big-box online retailers to home improvement chains. But you’re also likely to be able to find local stores that will give you options online or over the phone for packaging and pickup or delivery.

For a complete WellTuned guide to social distancing, click here.

Ashley Brantley

Ashley Brantley has been writing about food, culture and health for more than a decade, and has lived in three of Tennessee’s four major cities (Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville).

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Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.