When it's wet and cold out (typical spring) the kids' creativity is put to the test. They can't go outside but they have a lot of energy. That's not a good combination for me. Usually I just give them suggestions - make a book, build a lego tower, clean the play room - and they reject them with a sneer. So I stopped giving them suggestions and a pattern has developed:
Step One - Kids whine and perhaps cry for up to 15 minutes. A sibling fight could develop.
Step Two - I ignore them or given them the fake sympathy - oh I know, I hate being bored. I totally agree with you. Please cry louder so that it has meaning. Do not be passive with your whining - show me passion! Stay committed to the misery! (Occasionally I will whip out the video camera and start to record. They hate that.)
Step Three - They leave me alone because they are not quite sure how to apply my instructions. (Or they're mad about the video camera).
Step Four - They start plotting together.
Step Five - Items are moved out of bedrooms and out of the playroom into a central and completely inconvenient location.
Step Six - Imaginations are in full swing and while there is a mess that will have to be cleaned up later they are OCCUPIED! And apparently having fun.
Their two most recent creations:
Overnight airplane flight to the North Pole in the upstairs hallway. Notice the fan that acts as a propeller for the plane. Also a nightlight and a dvd to watch for in-flight entertainment. They didn't dare ask me to offer a snack. I would have charged them $7.50 for a box of animal crackers and a yogurt.
Beach party in the foyer. The flagstones in our entry are blue and cold so that makes for the perfect ocean. My clean laundry was drafted to be a surfboard. The sofa pillow was a sea turtle (thanks, Diego).
This was their third time doing the "beach party". The first two times had WAY too much stuff - beach chairs, a cd playing beach music, and pool toys. This one was more sedate. More of a relaxing beach party and not so much an active beach party.