If you are home with your kids like us right now, then you can count yourselves among the lucky ones. A huge round of applause from all of us to the essential workers – the doctors and nurses, the people keeping hospitals clean and running, the grocery store workers, the delivery and truck drivers, the gas station attendants and all the other public service workers who put themselves at risk every day for the rest of us. Thanks. 

For those of us at home - and not to minimize the strain because this can be really tough on a lot of people, but right now our jobs are the easiest - just stay home, stay sane and hang out with our kids. That’s how WE help protect the health of the frontline workers, and of our high-risk friends, neighbors and family members. It's a small price to pay. 

So.... here is a stay at home ‘life school’ project that we just did - 'how to refinish a coffee table'. Or perhaps more aptly entitled, 'how to kinda refinish a coffee table and kill an afternoon'. 

After 8 years of my son Finn sitting at the table playing with Lego, drawing, eating or creating dented patterns in it by bashing it with a fork, it needed a little love. Finn suggested we get a new one, a nice 'easy-to-clean' one with a glass top he thought. Well if THAT didn’t inspire an idea for a little ‘father - son’ time... so we decided to tune it up a little. The fork dents will still be there but that’s called ‘stressed wood’ or ‘patina’ and only adds value I figure when antique markets open again.

If there is anything you neglected to teach your kids over the years that you may feel a little guilt about, now’s the time to do it. Folding laundry, doing dishes, cooking, baking, cleaning, repairing, building… take advantage of the time and show them how to do stuff. Might as well get a little help out of the deal :)

And if I may quote Principal Skinner, "Just make a game of it. See how many envelopes you can lick in an hour; then try to break that record." 

For more DIY projects to do with your kids during quarantine or just to help keep yourself sane, check out the Ecohome Green Home Building Guide and subscribe to our Green Building YouTube channel here. It may be tough getting materials at times but a lot of stuff is available on the web; here are some tips on finding tools and building supplies online