Some kids are the first to climb the top of the jungle gym. Others prefer to stay on more familiar ground — literally. If your child is shy or reluctant to try new things (and most are, at least in certain situations), explore alongside them. After all, if you’re brave about getting on the rollercoaster, they’re more likely to get excited about it too. Here are five things to try with your child to help them venture outside their comfort zone.

Choose a new food. Try serving it with something they already like — for example, mash avocado and serve it as a dip with carrot sticks. Or try fun finger-friendly foods from another culture, like sushi and edamame from a Japanese restaurant.

Sleep somewhere different. Does your child love seeing their cousins or Grandma and Grandpa? Arrange for a sleepover at a relative’s house. (Bonus: Free babysitting!) No family nearby? Ask your child’s best friend’s parents if they’d be open to a slumber party. Offer to host the first one to ease your kid into the idea. Or try a family campout in the backyard. 

Be a good sport. Encourage your kid to take up a sport to help them learn to interact with new kids. Being part of a team is a great way to make new friends in a fun environment.

Say hello to a creepy-crawly. Visit an animal park that offers up-close-and-personal encounters with snakes, lizards, tarantulas or other critters. Even if your child doesn’t hold one, just watching others do so can help them step outside of their creature comfort zone.

Let them be bored. Turn off the screens and watch kids’ imaginations spark. That’s when kids climb a tree, come up with their own dance or invent a game. After all, there’s nothing like boredom to inspire a kid to try something new.

Help kids stay calm and grounded — even when they’re out of their comfort zone — with their own Q-Time Buddy.