MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jan 19, 2012) - (Family Features) Too much time indoors can often lead to cranky, stir-crazy kids. But you can keep your kiddo occupied with kid-friendly, educational activities that will appeal to their imagination. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Pitch a tent and build a campsite. If the weather has prevented you from a camping excursion, pitch a tent in your living room. Use a table, chairs and a sheet to create a tent or fort in your dining room or living room. Then, set out a blanket in front of the tent and make a circle using potatoes in place of rocks and a flash light or lantern for a fire. Get the whole family involved and take turns telling one another funny stories. Remember to pack some good campsite treats, such as popped popcorn and dried fruits.

Embark on an adventure. From your campsite, go exploring through the jungle of the living room. Encourage your child to use their imagination. What animals do they see? Do they hear any foreign sounds? How tall are the trees? Will they have to cross a river? If so, will they need to build a bridge? If a bridge is needed, let them use some throw pillows to use as crossing stones. Remember, if you're excited, they'll be excited too. A great adventure story, like the serial story "Quetzalcoatyl," can really get their imagination going. This tale about a magical sea creature and the boy he befriends can be found each month in the pages of the free children's newspaper Kidsville News!

Create a journal. Ask your child to describe their adventure -- or just their day -- by writing, painting or drawing on a series of pages. Have them start from the beginning by describing what they had for breakfast, what they found in the jungle, etc. You can use a hole punch and yarn or string to put together a journal to help them recall their exciting day.

Head out on the town. What better excuse to head out -- even in less than favorable weather -- than to take a trip to the library? Keeping your child's book collection well-stocked and diverse are great ways to encourage their hobby, and help them to continue to develop a larger vocabulary.

Find out if your local library has a reading program and get your child signed up, and don't forget to check to see if they have story time as well. If you're looking for children's book suggestions for your child, ask your local librarian or check out the children's newspaper Kidsville News! for book reviews and suggestions. Reviews from author James Patterson's Readkiddoread.com are featured in the publication every month, and online at www.kidsvillenews.com.

Set up a book nook. There are few things better on a dreary weather day than to curl up in a cozy corner in warm pajamas with a good book and a trusted teddy bear. And after a long day of pitching tent and trudging through the jungle and the library, both you and your kiddo are likely to need some quiet time. Designate one corner of your home as the book nook with lots of comfy blankets, pillows and a reading light. Then snuggle up and read some stories together.

If you're looking for more educational activities, great reading material or tips for encouraging your child to read, look to "Kidsville News!" in your area or online at www.kidsvillenews.com.

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