Kids love playing, and this is good for many reasons. When they are playing they are learning, their mind is problem solving and socially accelerating. The benefit to us? It tires them out making bed-time that much easier 🙂 If you find a good park near you that your kids love going to, it can also be used as a reward for good behavior. My daughter “J” is a kindergartner this year, and when she brings her folder home at the end of the day and she’s done her work, or when she receives prizes at school for being a good girl – I take her to the park. While we are at the park, I work on things like colors we see (eye spy something blue!), or songs about spelling rhyming words (cat, bat, hat, sat). When it’s raining, plan something fun inside to stimulate their minds. Yesterday we took a trip to the dollar store and bought a travel mug that you can untwist and put a piece of paper you’ve decorated inside – and Voila! your very own decorated travel mug. She made herself a water bottle for school and drew a picture of herself playing in the sun with butterflies. We added glittery stickers for extra flair! Another thing I’ve been doing is keeping the small individual plastic containers from her Pringles I pack in her lunch. We play counting games with money using them, you can put paint in them, or sprinkles if you are decorating cookies …. and the best thing is they are washable. (See my re-use it section for more ideas).