1) Build a Fort
This is my kids’ favorite activity. It’s also my favorite activity because most of the other activities on the list below can take place in a well-fortified blanket fort. Building a fort, whether out of pillows or blankets, with your kids is a great way to think creatively and problem solve. Piece of advice: take care not to attach blankets to potentially unstable structures. One misplaced tug on a blanket could send an entire bookshelf crashing down, which you DO NOT want. So, be careful, and have your kids be careful by telling them about Newton and architectural stability.
2) Board Games
Board games are so important for any family. They are far more beneficial for the overall health of a family then most people believe. Think about it: board games force children unwittingly to follow stringent rules, patiently take turns, focus on specific problems, and think creatively to solve those problems. Here are some of my favorite board games to play with my family that are fun for a kid or an adult: Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, Forbidden Island, Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders, and Alhambra. You can view these games’ ratings and other board games here.
3) Arts and Crafts
Most parents are pretty familiar with throwing an arts and crafts-style afternoon. I suggest being a little bit more creative so that the craft or piece of art that your children produce will be something that they can be especially proud of. Example: for boys, have them create a rocket ship from a plastic bottle. Create a contest with rules and regulations for the best rocket ship based on height and aesthetics. For girls, have a jewelry making party. For some of the more complicated projects, invest in Wubber’s jewelry pliers. Girls can give the jewelry as gifts, wear it themselves, or even make friendship bracelets.