Involve your child in simple cooking activities. You might make pudding together, bake bread, or peel, cook, and mash potatoes.

Talk about the characteristics of the foods as you cook. The egg is slimy, gooey, sticky. The dough is puffy, soft, fluffy.

When you've finished enjoying a snack that you've prepared together, ask your child to draw, dictate, or write a story about how to make the snack.


On the walk, name the trees and plants you see. Look at a leaf. What do you see on each side? Blow dandelion seeds. Before you do, look at the seed; look at the fluff attached to the seed. Ask your child: What insects fly around you? Look at how fast they fly. See if you can count their wings. What insects do you find hiding under leaves or under a rock?

Focus on the physical properties of your neighborhood. Identify what the houses are made of. Ask your child: What's under your feet (concrete, grass, asphalt)? which did humans make and which are natural? Find out which surfaces are easier to walk on.


Create a junk box. Save paper tubes, pieces of wrapping paper, empty plastic containers, string, foil, old greeting cards, envelopes, and other found objects. Keep a smaller box of scissors, glue, tape, and construction paper nearby. Explain to your child that this is an exploration box. The contents can be used to create anything he or she wishes.

Purchase markers and a pack of heavy paper for drawing. (You can also use large paper bags, opening them up and flattening them out for a large drawing surface.)