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Looking for a fun way to encourage literacy in your preschooler? How about trying out an ABC day trip in Milwaukee?

A is for apple

Start out your day with apples for breakfast. This kid-friendly and healthy food can be served in a ton of tempting ways. Here are a few!

  • Apple chips: You can buy these at the store, or make your own by thinly slicing an apple, sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar and baking them until they dry out.
  • Baked apples: Core an apple, put some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in the center, and bake until bubbly and delicious. Cut into bite-sized pieces for your little one.
  • Applesauce on toast: Jazz up some store-bought applesauce with cinnamon and sugar, and spread on some toast for your cutie.

B is for Betty Brinn

After breakfast, head out to a favorite of preschoolers -- the Betty Brinn Children's Museum! Get there early and spend a few hours letting your kids play, play, play -- pretending to shop, fix a car or be a postal worker in Home Town, going down the slides and climbing in Pocket Park, making artwork and playing with Mr. Potato Head -- and tons more!

C is for Cookie

Seriously, could "C" be for anything other than cookie? After an hour or so of playing at Betty Brinn, take a cookie break. You can relax on the lower level of the children's museum where there are tables, or, if the weather's great, head outside for a few minutes.

D is for Downtown Kitchen

After a fun morning at Betty Brinn, it's time for lunch, and Downtown Kitchen in the US Bank building is the place to go. The kids will have fun looking at the giant building they're going into, and the cafeteria-style setup ensures that you'll find something delectable for the grownups and something even your picky little one will eat (There are bags of chips, whole fruit and snacks if they won't eat any of the hot food selections.)

E is for "Eye Spy"

After lunch, it's time to go home for naptime. A great idea to keep the kids awake in the car (so they don't immediately wake up when you get home, and your own downtime vanishes!), print out an auto bingo card, or make your own with little pictures of items for your kids to keep a look out for as you drive through downtown Milwaukee and through your own neighborhood. Give your little one some favorite stickers for him to put on each picture when he sees it!

F is for Foil

Okay, bear with me, this might sound weird, but after a busy morning, you'll be looking for an entertaining, but calm, activity to keep your preschooler busy after her nap.

And aluminum foil is fun (and cheaper than buying a craft kit) to play with. The kids can sculpt with it, draw on it with markers, even crumple it up and throw the foil balls into a basket.

Another fun idea is to wrap up some small trinkets, snacks and toys in the foil. Then the kids can unwrap it, play with whatever's inside and recycle the foil to play with!

All these fun activities will help cement these letter sounds in your kids' brains. While you start dinner preparations, another great way to keep your kids busy is to have them draw pictures of each of the things they did during the day along with the letter that each activity starts with.

When you're ready to tackle another day trip with your little one, here are some ideas for the next few letters of the alphabet!

Go fly a kite

Flying a kite is a super fun way for kids, both young and old, to spend some time, and the Milwaukee area is the perfect place to learn how to do it. Gift of Wings has three locations in metro Milwaukee, and two of them have nearby parks where you can fly your new kite right away. According to owner Scott Fisher, Veterans Park near the lakefront is one of the best places to fly a kite in the country. And the location in historic Greendale is near several parks, including one within walking distance.

RELATED: Gift of Wings sends kid fun soaring

Have a breakfast picnic

If you're starting your day trip early in the morning, take advantage of the park you're flying your kite at and have a picnic. But make it a breakfast picnic! The novelty of eating breakfast on a blanket in the park will delight your little one, and it's a perfect time to relax after running around the park chasing your kite!

Here are some options for fun portable breakfast items:

  • Bakery items like doughnuts, cinnamon rolls or bagels
  • Young kid-friendly fruit like cut-up grapes, sliced apples or watermelon
  • Gogurt
  • Juice boxes or small water bottles

Ice cream

Yeah, breakfast dessert isn't usually a thing, but this is a special day! Watch your little one's eyes light up when you head back into the Gift of Wings and let him order an ice cream cone.

Jacks, jump ropes and other old-school outside toys

Hey, you're outside in the park. It's time to have fun with outside toys. And it's the perfect opportunity to introduce the kids to some classics.

  • Jacks is an easy game to understand, and it can be made easier for little kids to play with jumbo jacks like in this set, which make them easier for tiny hands to grab.
  • You can also dust off some of those old jump rope rhymes you remember from your school days and teach your kids how to skip rope. If they can't quite get the hang out of jumping over the rope as it spins over their heads, try just swinging the rope back and forth on the ground, letting them jump as it passes their feet.

RELATED: Kid-tested reviews of outdoor toys

Keep on swimming

After a morning spent outside, it's a good time to do something relaxing. Head on home and let the kids eat their lunch in front of the TV (even if that's not something you usually allow; remember, this is a special treat day!). And, if you all watch the pretty perfect kids movie "Finding Dory" together, you'll have a great inspirational phrase to utter to each other and yourself when the going gets tough (like when you're trying to get them down for a much-needed nap): Keep on swimming!

RELATED: Kids and movies: 5 things to keep in mind

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