Stretch Her Imagination
Kids who are passionate about playing make-believe are good at entertaining themselves, says Dr. Willard. "Children aren't going to be able to toss a ball or ride their bike in every boring situation, but they'll always have their imagination," he says. Try these games to build on your child's fantasy life: The next time you have a lot of errands to run, suggest that your kid pretend she's an alien who's tagging along with you for the day to find out what Earthlings are like. Or when you're in the checkout line at the supermarket, tell your child to make believe she's a TV chef buying groceries for her show. After a few times, stop supplying the scenario and ask your child what she should pretend to be. "With practice, you can get to the point where she's comfortable with staring out the window on a long car trip because she can create an elaborate story," says Dr. Willard.