Like most preschoolers, your 4- or 5-year-old is probably a ball of energy, bursting to try different things. But although kids this age are eager for new experiences, they need your help to find their true talents. "It's your job as a parent to introduce your child to all types of activities, and this is the perfect age to do it," says Pete Stavinoha, PhD, a child psychologist at Children's Medical Center Dallas. Exposing your kid to sports, science, or the arts will expand her world and help her develop a sense of self. And on top of having fun, preschoolers learn a lot -- and may even discover a lifelong passion.
Keep in mind the goal isn't to turn your child into the next Claude Monet or Mia Hamm: 4- and 5-year-olds are just beginning to figure out which activities they like and dislike, and putting pressure on them to perform may turn them off entirely. The trick is to be supportive without being pushy -- and to provide plenty of opportunities for them to discover and learn. Check out these smart ways to expose your child to sports, science, and the arts.