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Great Summer Outings

Preschoolers are curious, observant, and better able to keep up than toddlers. In other words, they're at the perfect age for summer fun, like:

Strolling through a flea market
There's so much that kids find interesting, from rotary phones to sparkly jewelry.
* Go on a scavenger hunt. Give your child a sheet of paper with pictures of things she can check off as she sees them.
* Compare and contrast. Point out an item, then challenge her to find something bigger (or smaller, or greener, or shinier).

Hiking on a trail
Keep it short (about a half hour or so is fine), and bring water. Just don't count on getting very far!
* Count your steps. How many will it take to get to the next tree?
* Check out the bugs. Pack a little magnifying glass for rock and tree-bark investigations.

You don't need to go beyond your own backyard for some dirt-cheap fun.
* Give her small tasks. Preschoolers love simple duties, like digging holes, putting soil into pots, and watering plants.
* Make weeding a game. See how many weeds you and your child can pull in three minutes. Then sit back and admire your work!