Make Errands Teachable Moments

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If you have to go to the bank, then turn it into a math lesson by allowing kids to count the money after you receive it or by allowing bigger kids to add and subtract amounts on transaction slips. Trips to the shopping mall can be made less monotonous by asking kids to find things that are out of place, such as trash on the ground or a messy display. On the flip side, ask them to find things that are in place, like a clean countertop or stack of merchandise. If you're trying to keep the kids entertained in a waiting room, like that of the doctor, have kids close their eyes and listen to what's going on around them. Wait 10 seconds, then have the child open his eyes and tell you what he heard and guess what those sounds might be. This is a great way to pass the time - and improve your child's perception of the world around him!