A leader in my church once said that if he could do it all over, he would plan more family work projects. He says looking back on his time with his family, those were the things they remember most, especially when the fruits of their labors are still visible.
Family work projects with young children can be difficult, but I assure you they are worth the extra effort. I have been canning the last week. Peaches, strawberries, apples. One night, I decided to let the kids help me make apple sauce. I remembered the one time my mom had made apple sauce, cranking the strainer and watching the sauce come out while the skins and cores came out a different hole. It was fascinating.
So I cooked up the apples. Daddy sliced the apples. Miss J helped stir the apples in the stock pot. Then we set up the strainer. Miss J smashed and Little Man helped crank. I finished with the pouring and sealing, and boiling.
I didn't realize what a hit the activity had been until the next morning. Both kids kept talking about making apple sauce, about smashing and turning the handle. They asked to do it again. And so we did! It didn't feel like work at all. Could I have done it faster by myself? Probably. Would I ever trade that time for anything else? No.
What other family projects can you do with young children? Well, just about anything if you aren't afraid of a mess and taking more time.
Check out my friend Bobi's blog to see her family remodeling their home.
If you want a list, here are some ideas.
Make your own Christmas Ornaments
Put up the tent and take it down together.
Plant a garden, weed a garden, water a garden, harvest a garden!
Build a birdhouse.
Pick all the dandelions out of your yard. (seriously, my kids loved this one)
Do you have any ideas for family projects?