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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review of Lowe's Build and Grow Events in Louisville, KY

   So let me get this straight - There’s a monthly event at your local Lowe’s store where you can show up, build some cool toys, spend quality time with your children, and it’s completely free?? Yes. Are you going? You should be! My daughter and I have been attending the Lowe’s Build and Grow events for over a year now. Lowe’s in the Louisville area (maybe other cities as well) offers these events at least once a month on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 10-11am (Rumor has it that another large home improvement store does one on the 1st Saturday each month). They are entirely FREE to the participants, you just need to sign up in advance for each child you’re bringing and sign a waiver, no doubt to appease the Lowe’s lawyers and prevent hammer-wielding, child-instigating lawsuits.

 photo 20140726_102800_zpsd9661b7a.jpg    Participants can view the upcoming events on the www.LowesBuildandGrow.com website, as well as sign up for the events and print the waiver form. You can create an account to register your kids so that future sign-ups are just a few clicks. When you show up, know that the event will take place in or near the lumber area of the store. If you have any doubts, just ask one of the associates and they should be able to point you in the right direction. There will be a sign-in table where you hand over your waiver, and they give you back a hammer along with a “Build and Grow” kit for that day’s project. If you forget your wavier, they usually have extras you can complete there.
   If it’s your first time, be sure to get a brand new apron that you can keep and add patches to with each completed project. After that, you’re ready to build. Only once have I had to deal with the Lowe’s staff trying to “guide” us through the process; usually you just show up. The projects are all pretty easy to follow with step-by-step guidance and pictures to show how to properly complete it. My only word of caution is that you are potentially putting your life fingers in harm’s way as your child will take the small hammer and nail-by-nail assemble some cool toys. Just keep an eye on your younger kids…if you turn your back, you might soon hear the thud of a hammer and screaming. Never fun. After all the nailing is complete, most projects have stickers to finish them off. If you’re really adventurous, feel free to omit the stickers and take home the toy to paint/color it later. Once you have completed the project you can show the Lowes associate coordinating the build and they will give you an iron-on patch you can put on your child’s apron. We’re still working on filling ours up, but I have seen kids actually wear multiple aprons to proudly show their complete projects over the last several years.
   If I had one suggestion to make, it would be to provide some sort of seating for the adults. The setup is simply a long board set on buckets for a “table” for kids to work on. The Lowe’s I usually go to does not have seating for adults, and another Lowe’s in town only has a limited number of seats at actual tables. With hundreds of kids and parents showing up each week, some seating would be helpful to some of the parents. But if you’re good with sitting cross-legged on the floor, you won’t have any issues.
 photo 20140901_192720_zps2132176a.jpg
Just some of the things we've built at Lowe's.



 
   Overall I think the event is wonderful. My daughter and I (and any future kids) will be going to these for years to come. Sure, it’s nice to get a new toy each month that you actually get to build. But speaking from a parent’s perspective, you get to spend some quality time with your kids. I could almost care less (almost, because some of the toys are pretty cool!), but it’s truly more about the experience than anything. When my daughter gets older one day she’ll be too cool for this, so I will enjoy each project as much as possible. The name of the event really sums it up: you build - you grow, together.

By guest contributor: Lauren

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