Use Mulch For Money
Set yourself up under the steps of a slide or jungle gym — the space between the steps makes a great drive-through window. Kids can "drive" up and order their favorite foods. Using mulch, sticks or stones as currency, you can teach counting and why a pizza costs more wood chips than a juice box.
Bring The Binoculars
Give your go-to park a new point-of-view with kid-sized binoculars. Look up for birds, bees, and butterflies; airplanes, helicopters and UFOs. A spiral-bound notepad can be your field journal and you can draw what you see, bring it home to share at the dinner table or for "show and tell" the next day at school.
Pack A Cape
Even superheroes need exercise to maintain their superhuman physique. So let your little one go to the park as his or her favorite good guy. You can be the bad guy, or the trusty magic lasso holder. Ride your bikes to the park and give them added powers with a touch of tin foil around the handlebars. Kapow!
Feed The Ants
No self-respecting youngster goes to the park empty-snack-cupped. Share your eats with little critters and watch them carry crumbs twice their size. See if they like sweet or salty. Bring a magnifying glass to see them up close. Then come home and check out this interactive ant anatomy site to learn even more.
Don't let the heat keep you away. Bring a spray bottle full of cold water to cool off between activities. Kids love these things and they are only a buck at the drugstore. Buy a few. This way, you can spray your child — pretending he or she is a dirty car in a car wash.