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In some past posts, we’ve discussed an unfortunate reality of modern life:  a lack of time to spend with the family.  Obviously this is a problem that affects everybody to different degrees.  One family might lament the fact that it only gets a few nights per week to spend together as one cohesive unit, and another might be lucky to get even a few minutes together.

In today’s world, it’s not uncommon that both parents work, and it’s certainly not uncommon that teenage children work as well.  Everybody has their own commitments – be they professional or personal – and getting all of the schedules to align can be tricky at best.  But that doesn’t have to mean that “quality time” is off the table entirely; you just might have to be more creative about where you find it.

SUGGESTION #5:  Work Together on DIY Projects

Working on DIY projects as a team is an excellent way to enjoy family time if you do not expect perfection. Try to select activities suited to your children’s ages and abilities, so attempting things beyond their capabilities will not discourage them. In addition, keep safety in mind when choosing which ventures to tackle, and use the opportunity to teach important safety lessons as you work.

Everyone will enjoy making a bird feeder and watching the birds that come there to eat after it is finished. You can find complete directions for a very simple feeder here. This is a good family time DIY project when you have small children. They will enjoy gathering supplies and decorating the cardboard tube but will need your help with punching holes and gluing. Or try this whimsical birdhouse for your feathered friends. An old rubber rain boot can have new life as a home for your backyard birds and provide entertainment for the family as well.

Puzzle-piece friendship necklaces make great family time DIY projects if you have young girls. The necklaces can become inexpensive gifts for their special friends, and the whole family can participate in the fun of choosing interlocking pieces and making the necklaces. Find instructions for this simple activity here.

Check out the TLC page for ideas on how to create unique window treatments for kids’ rooms. Use old shipping crates from warehouses to make rustic window shutters. Since the wood is already rough, you will not need to be concerned about extra gouges the kids may inflict on it during assembly, and the materials should be quite economical.

Even if your children’s ages are far apart, you can still work on DIY projects together as a family. Let the older ones help their younger siblings, and choose simple projects. You can tackle ventures that are more complicated with your older children when the younger ones are in bed, so they will not feel that all the family activities are childish.

About the author:  Philip J Reed works in association with Westwood College.  Westwood offers a wide variety of programs and degrees at 17 separate campuses, and also offers a comprehensive online college experience, which may be of particular interest to busy parents.  For information and answers to any questions you might have, please visit the college website.