Usborne's 365 Things to Make and Do is a favorite at home, along with Usborne Book of Art Ideas. On and off the older child and I would pore over some of the pages to find inspiration, or even to simply do what the book has shown.
One fine weekend, the younger child got inducted into this Flip through Usborne Book for Inspiration club, quite by accident. I had left the book open to a particular page (possibly intentionally!) on the table, and left some sheets of white paper and markers strategically next to it.
After exhausting all other ways to engage himself while I was busy with my work (which was mostly just pretending to be unavailable so he won't monopolize my time), the kid started doing what was suggested on the open page: draw circle monsters and jelly bean monsters.
A whole beautiful afternoon was spent in this activity with no interference from me. "Look, Mama, this one's upside down on a skateboard", "This one's brain is sticking out of its head!", "This one looks like Saltwater Taffy", "He has 3 mouths, see? One is for talking, one is for breathing, one is for eating", "This one is sad because he lost his feet and fingers"...
I was quietly smiling, pretending not to register the non-stop chatter as he made up the drawings, with my ears perked up and dutifully jotting some of them down so I can share it with Papa.
My favorite was the little army of monsters marching along at the bottom of the page.
All in all, a fun afternoon for me, without having to do any work. And, from the looks of it, a fun afternoon for the kid as well...
...Until he flipped the pages and landed on the "Blow-paint Monsters" in the book, and wanted to do them next.