Instead of just sending your preschooler outside to play, use your imagination and make his playtime more exciting by telling him a story about the people who used to live in your house before you moved in. Plan ahead before he goes out to hide a box full of treasures for him to hunt for while he is outside. Describe the former tenants, where they got their treasure, why they had to hide it and how they expected to remember where it was. (Draw a map of your yard using lines and arrows pointing to certain gardens, play equipment, picnic tables, grills, bushes and trees.} Before he goes hunting show him the map and go through it with words and pictures (help him think through which parts of the yard to search) and then let him go. Be available to help him puzzle through the next place to look if he comes to ask for help. This activity will help him use his imagination while he is exercising his body and he will be very excited when he finally finds the Backyard Treasure. Thinking before acting and following the directions on the map are good readiness skills young children need to practise before they go to Kindergarten. This activity provides your preschooler a fun and rewarding way to do this.
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