It used to be that when there was a big project to be done, we would actually get a babysitter or grandparents to watch the kids so we could "get something done". Well, I suppose there might be a time and place for that - but now we just think through what the job will entail, and how the kids can "help".
I say "help" in quotes because we all know there are things that can be done faster and with higher quality by grownups than by children. But that is part of the process. And what you give up in speed and perfection, you more than make up for in family fun, togetherness, and building a sense of accomplishment in the child.
Last fall, we constructed a chicken coop. We had had chickens in the past, but the neighbors' dog, a Jack Russell Terrier, was doing her dog thing and hunting them. We didn't want the neighbors' to have to chain her up, so we went without chickens for a while.
I came up with an idea for a "dog-proof" chicken coop. And as we began the building process, I realized an error. In talking over it aloud with Big Dad, Jor Man had an idea - and it was brilliant. We incorporated his design change into the coop, making it better. Jor Man still tells people that he designed the coop. The whole family worked on priming and painting the coop. It made for some paint in hair - but nothing that a bath wouldn't fix. When you are not trying to get to school on time the next day, and get homework done, you can be much more flexible with the schedule and work around big projects.
That said, we found it worked best to only do a couple of hours a day on the project at a time.
Wish you were here!