Fun Excursions

As your toddler's attention span grows, you'll be able to take more trips together. From nature walks to museum visits, we outline the activities your child will most enjoy.
Jason Lindsey

Another adventure your 2-year-old will enjoy is a nature walk. Take a stroll together outdoors and collect some of nature's offerings-rocks and colorful leaves, for instance. (Be sure to keep your child covered up, to lessen the risk of poison ivy or tick bites.) Once you've finished your outing, examine the bounty together. Talk about the textures, shapes, and colors, and where each item originated. Then you might glue the collection inside an egg carton or paste it to a sheet of cardboard.

With a 2-year-old's expanding attention span, more excursions become possible. Short visits to natural history museums, aquariums, zoos, and farms enlarge a child's horizons. Tap into local resources to provide a wealth of experiences. Many fire departments have open-house days during which children can get a firsthand look at the firehouse and (wow!) sit in a hook-and-ladder truck. Is there a dairy farm or a pretzel factory near you? Arrange a short tour, if possible; toddlers are fascinated by the origins of the food they eat.

As your child gets close to age 3, he can begin to play simple, repetitive games such as "Mother, May I?" and "Simon Says." Now, too, is the time to buy a first board game; Candyland is a good one to begin with. Your child will enjoy interacting with you and, at the same time, get a chance to practice turn-taking and color recognition. Winning will seem immaterial to your child; he's still refreshingly innocent in that regard. Take his lead, and make the fun of "getting there" more important than who's ahead.

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