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No TV!

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It’s raining (or snowing) cats and dogs. You can’t send the kids out to play, but you would prefer that they not zone out in front of the TV or the computer for the next five hours. Good for you. How can you keep your kids entertained on a day like this?

One of the things that modern parents struggle with is the need to get things done and also spend quality time with children, and it’s not always easy with children complaining that they are bored every ten minutes. This is where you’ve hopefully trained them, and yourself, to be creative.

Here are some great ways to entertain your kids in the “old-fashioned” way. You might have to get them started, or even play along, but it will be good for them and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your children are learning to use their natural creativity and curiosity.

- Make a fort – get chair and sheets or blankets and show them how to build a fort. With some creativity, they can make rooms and will have a wonderful time.

- Read – Get out the storybooks and read to them if they are little, or have them read to you if they are older and learning. This is a great way to remind them of the power a book can have to transport a person to far-away places for fun and adventure.

- Paint – Finger paints, anyone? Create works of art on paper or poster board and display them when they are dry.

- Cookies – Make some cookies, or a cake or some bread. This is an age-old fun way to spend a couple hours. It gives you bonding time with your kids and they have fun. Later, you can have a snack (maybe while all watching your favorite TV show together – oops! There’s the TV, again).

- Help with dinner – Get out the recipe book and have your kids help you make dinner. Show them how measure ingredients and follow the directions. Make sure to show them how to clean up as they go, so there won’t be a huge mess after the feast has been prepared.

- Science projects – Go online and do a search for “rainy day science projects” or “science projects to do at home”. You will find a ton of easy and fun things the kids can do. They will learn something new, too!

- Repot plants – Get your hands dirty and show them how to properly repot plants that have grown out of the pots they’re in. Spread some newspaper on the floor, get out some potting soil and get to work.

- Plant seeds – If you have some clear plastic cups (not earth friendly, but they serve a purpose here), you can put some potting soil in them, and have your kids plant some seeds, preferably beans or sunflowers or another large type of seed. Even though the seeds won’t sprout immediately, in a few days, they will be able to see new life.

- Write letters (not emails) – Get out some paper and crayons, colored pencils or pens and have the kids write real letters to Grandma and Grandpa, or a cousin or friend who lives far away. They will have fun writing and decorating a special letter, and hopefully receiving a real letter in return.

If you use your own creativity and even think back to fun things you did as a child, you can probably come up with more great ideas for entertaining your children without the use of a TV, computer, or video game. Good luck!

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