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Things to Do With an Active Child

Your young explorer might be a future scientist or inventor. Nurture that with these ways to keep them engaged.

Keep an eye out for activities for kids with active minds.

Does it seem like every time you turn around your home has been taken apart by your little explorer? Don’t despair. It may simply result from an extraordinary desire to learn. Who knows, your child just may be a future scientist, inventor or leader in the making.

Put together a book of facts.

Pick a favorite topic, such as dinosaurs, insects, rock bands, sports or astronomy. Clip pictures and descriptions from magazines and Internet printouts. Then trace drawings from books, and write about personal experiences with the topic.

Make up a scavenger hunt.

Draw up a list of easy-to-find items for your small children. Give older kids a greater challenge with a list of puzzles to solve in order to determine what items to find. Kids can also create their own scavenger hunt for family or friends.

Play restaurant.

Have your child make up a restaurant menu with several simple dishes he can prepare. At dinnertime, he can seat the family, take orders, then prepare and serve the dishes.

Recycle some fun.

Start a discard collection and teach your kids the importance of recycling and reusing disposable items. Then get their creative juices flowing. Save zippers and buttons from old clothing, plastic containers, fabric strips, packing materials, small scraps of wood, carpet and wallpaper scraps, and more. Then supply your kids with scissors, tape and glue, and let them go to work. Offer ideas to get started, and then let them come up with their own creations.

Make a U.S. puzzle.

Purchase several colors of clay and a United States map. Clip each state from the map, place a state clipping over the rolled-out clay and trace the shape into the clay with a toothpick. Cut out the shapes then write the name of the state with a pencil tip. Be sure to use a different color of clay for each neighboring state, and then let the shapes dry or bake according to instructions.

Play Thomas Edison.

Save those old kitchen appliances, computers, DVD players and other electronics. Give your child a supply of tools such as pliers, screwdrivers and safety glasses, and let him go to work. Kids love this type of exploration and learn by taking apart and examining the inner workings of electronics. Cut the electrical cord to prevent mishaps. And supervise for sharp parts or mechanisms that could pinch fingers.

Create a video.

Have your children make up several humorous television commercials using household items for props and by dressing for the part. After they’ve rehearsed their skits, set up a video camera and tape their production.

Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer

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