The weather's terrible and you and your child are stuck indoors. How can you make the day fun without resorting to that old standby, the TV? Here are five fun activities you can enjoy together until the sun comes out:
Tell your child that you're going to create a story about anything he wants—and he can make it as outrageous or funny as he wishes. One of you then provides the opening line, and you take turns adding new sentences. Write the sentences on paper so you can read the story out loud afterward. You can also create instant stories while riding in the car or preparing dinner.
Have your child write a video script and then videotape it. Play whatever characters she needs and enlist the help of other family members (including the dog!) and friends. The video could be a mini-movie, a commercial, or even a music video.
Give your child a space in the basement or garage where he can create an exhibit. Let him choose the theme and have him change it often. The display could either hang from the ceiling or be on a table. It could be all about school and include test papers and artwork, or it could be about dinosaurs, cars, jungle animals—whatever he's interested in. When he's done creating each exhibit, have a "show" where he presents his creation to you.
Let your child pretend to be whomever she wants to be. Fill a box with a variety of clothing and accessories. Let her change outfits as many times as she wants, and put on some makeup and do her hair by herself. After she dresses up, ask her to play the part. You can extend the activities by suggesting she put on a backyard performance or a play in the garage. Help set the stage with props and a background.
Make a list of items for your child to find throughout the house. Or make a list of simple questions that he needs to answer by either researching them online, in books or magazines, or by talking to other family members. When your child has completed a hunt, present him with a small prize.