If you've got stacks of magazines and holiday catalogs hanging around, let your kids fill an afternoon or more with this fun and endless 2-D project.
For each child, draw a simple house shape on a poster-size piece of paper, then set out catalogs, scissors, glue sticks, paper and markers and let the decorating begin. Each person can custom-design her own house--filling it with everything from furniture to teapots to fishbowls. Encourage kids to add fantasy touches: What would make houses more fun? Bunk beds five rows high? A system of pulleys and chutes? To make their creations more durable, you can help attach the "permanent" fixtures (couches, tables) to the house by covering them with clear Con-Tact paper. Objects that might need to be moved around (pet dogs or people) can be covered front and back with Con-Tact paper and cut out (double-sided tape on the back will help them stick in place). Still have catalogs left? Challenge your kids to make a whole town.