One of my standard “tools” to get students to practice a kind of boring skill is to get out the mini-whiteboards and let them write with markers. For some reason, students think whiteboards are super exciting.
Every year, I have my students practice expanding and condensing logarithmic expressions LOTS before we actually start solving equations. I find that lots of practice makes the equations a little less painful. I’ve used this powerpoint as practice every year. It includes both expanding and condensing expressions. If whiteboards aren’t enough to motivate your kids, sometimes setting a timer with an arbitrary amount of time helps too :)