Play with your kids.
Experts say younger children are starved for hands-on, focused playtime. Drop the cell phone, the newspaper, the Internet; set a quiet timer for 15 minutes; and play like you once did. For instance, “take a field trip to your own backyard to look for slugs and bugs, re-create the couch forts of yesterday, or just look your child in the eyes and tell her a story,” says Kathy Hirsch-Pasek, PhD, author of Einstein Never Used Flash Cards. Even short bursts of interactive and imaginative play, she says, provide big developmental payoffs for kids from two to ten.