Creativity expert, professor, father and former day care provider Rustin Wolfe writes a weekly MinnMoms parenting advice column that uses creative punishments to put a positive spin on negative behavior.
Here's one of his creative solutions:
OUT OF THE BOX
Question: We got caught ill-prepared for some of last winter's snow days. How can we be ready next time around?
Behavior: No plan for a snow day.
Problem: An unstructured day will inevitably get ugly.
Solution: Save some boxes.
Activity: Eminent creativity scholar E. Paul Torrance has asked people to think about the many uses for a box. He's onto something. Make sure you always have some on hand. Young children can play in them (cut out windows and doors for more fun) and older children can build with them. When I was doing day care, the best week of the year was the week of the carnival. We'd spend four days constructing games and run the event on the fifth. The older children took charge and the younger children got to play. They were never more engaged. For added impact, you can buy prizes and tickets at a party store. 500 tickets run about $4. And if all that fails, smashing boxes can be quite cathartic.