Kids get hyped up when there's nothing to do. Keep them busy with these mom-tested ideas.
- Bring out her inner artist. Before a zoo outing, Martha Jackson, of Thousand Oaks, California, and her then 5-year-old daughter, Natalie, would tie pieces of construction paper together with string to make a zoo journal. "She loved drawing pictures of her favorite animals," Jackson says.
- Promote pretend play. Georgia Heard, of West Palm Beach, Florida, created a dress-up box filled with a firefighter hat, a pirate patch, plastic armor, and other costumes for her 4-year-old son, Leo. "He's inventing stories, using his body, and entertaining himself at the same time," she says.
- Rotate toys. Sherry Jankowski would hide some of Courtney's playthings in a closet, then take out fresh ones whenever her daughter tired of those in her room. "This trick makes old toys seem new again," she says. Want to give your child even greater variety? Set up a toy exchange with the neighbors.
Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the May 2004 issue of Parents magazine.
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