8. In­vent sto­ries (with a lit­tle help).

FamilyFun - - NEST -

Take a few sheets of pa­per, cut them into squares, and write a sin­gle and pos­si­bly hi­lar­i­ous word on each. Bis­cuits. Alien. Rhinoceros. Havarti cheese. Then ask your kids to make up a tale, oc­ca­sion­ally flip­ping a square over and adding the word on it to the story. It’s 100 per­cent free, 102 per­cent imag­i­na­tive, and cus­tom­iz­a­ble to you and your fam­ily. (Trans­lated: “You can use which­ever ridicu­lous words you want.”) It’s this strat­egy that once made my 6-year-old spin a fan­tas­tic yarn about a space pi­rate who uses light­ning to fight a vol­cano in­side an evil toi­let. (Full dis­clo­sure: His sto­ries al­ways seem to in­clude a toi­let.)

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