> Send them to their room to create the costume of their favorite superhero. Then guess who they are supposed to be. Building a fort, tree house, or hide-out also works.
An ADDitude Reader
> My son and I cook and bake. I also keep a big box of paint, empty egg boxes, toilet roll tubes, leftover wrapping paper, old Christmas cards, glitter, and glue, and let our crafts genes take over.
Julie Fagenbauer, Vermont
> We play the “Minute to Win It” game — you stack and unstack paper cups as fast as you can. My son loves it!
> Move the front room furniture, put on some music, and declare it “dance party time.”
> Play games, like I Spy, when waiting in a doctor’s office. I also keep a stash of coloring books and crayons in the car.
> The number-one solution is to do things with them. Nothing means more to a small child than giving him your undivided attention.
Joy, New York
> It’s amazing how many things a child will suddenly find to do if I suggest that there are plenty of chores I would like him to do.
Matt Davies, New Jersey
> I join in the chorus of “I’m bored” until we all just laugh our heads off.
> I say, “Well, just draw pictures in the air, honey.” And she does.
Angela White, Virginia
> To keep everyone calm and happy on long rides, we play a game called “guess the word.” I start by saying a word — for example, “black” — and everyone else tries to find a word that goes along with it. For instance, blackbird or the pop group The Black Eyed Peas.
Tiffanie Smith, Florida
> I got this advice from my parents when I was a child: “Find something to do, or I will find something for you to do — and you won’t like what I pick!” My son usually stops bugging me after I say this.
> A game of Monopoly or charades worked when my 11-year-old was younger, and it still works now.
> A sandbox and Legos are the best toys ever.
Emily Dykema, Michigan
> Obstacle courses in the living room; board games (award either prizes or points); reading to your child; or taking a drive together saying you’re “going on a mission.”
Shawne Albero, New York