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    Even with all the toys in the world, there’s a point in the day when little voices begin to whine, “Mommm! Daaaaad! I’m bored!” When that time comes, put your chores and meal prep aside—it’s playtime for parents, too! Every household should have its own playhouse—they’re great for indoor exploration and endless imaginative scenarios. Need some playtime inspiration? To get going on the next creative crusade with the kids, here are some ideas for engaging the whole family in pretend playtime:

     

     

    A place for a puppet show.

    A playhouse window is the perfect place for kids to put on a puppet theater production. With a rotating cast of characters (and family members’ hands), everyone can have a turn putting on a new play. Have a child who doesn’t want to star in the show? Set up chairs and beanbags outside the window so audience members can watch and enjoy.

     

     

     

    Nurse “sick” toys back to health.

    Your kids’ little immune systems are learning how to handle wintertime germs, and all parents are pros at helping their children feel better. Teach kiddos to be caretakers, too by setting up a get-well clinic in the playhouse. Show Teddy Bear how to wash his hands properly, and put blankets and pillows inside the playhouse to make beds for dolls and stuffed animals to rest in. And pass off the sick day responsibilities to your kids: they can pretend to prepare chicken soup and medicines to ease their toys’ ills.

     

     

    Pizza parlor party time!

    Time for someone else to make dinner—turn the playhouse into a full-service pizza parlor, with your kids as the cooks! Small-sized aprons and paper plates make for easy accessories, and if your little ones are set on serving you something, suggest making play pizzas out of play dough. Soon enough, the playhouse will become the hottest new place in town to get a slice of ‘zah!

     

     

    Do-it-yourself art gallery.

    Crafty kids on your hands? If your refrigerator is already full of their latest creations, the inside of a playhouse is the perfect place to create a miniature art gallery. For a hanging banner of your little Picasso’s most recent works, use a hole-punch and some twine to showcase their pictures. And teach them that beautiful art is worth the cost: create “tickets” to allow patrons into the gallery. Pro tip: painter’s tape, or graphic art tape, is sticky enough to keep art in place, but also easy to remove after playtime is over. 

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