The Early years of life are extremely important to brain development. Your choices in your children’s early learning processes will have an immeasurable impact on their future intelligence. Here are some tips on how to make the most of their early development.
- Books! – Read to them daily! Find books with bright colors and large pictures. Encourage their interaction by giving them plenty of opportunities to fill in the blanks, pointing things out as you read, and asking them questions… e.g. “That’s a cow! What sound does the cow make?”
- Early Development Toys – Toys are not only used for entertainment, but also a large part of the learning process. Choose toys that are appropriate to your child’s age and development. Interacting with them while they play is a great way to encourage them to use the toys to their full potential. Toys like blocks and puzzles are great for helping with their coordination, cause and effect, shapes, colors, and numbers; count the blocks and say their colors as you stack them.
- Sing Songs – Singing is a great way to help them learn language. Songs that involve hand motions can make it more interesting and also help them with coordination.
- Let Them Be “Helpers”- Children love to be involved in everything! Let them help with cooking, cleaning, and anything else that is safe for children.
- Direction Games – Play games like “Simon Says” and “Mother May I”. These games give children the ability to use their listening and direction following skills which will be very important when it’s time for them to go to school.
- Practice Discipline – Children need boundaries, but be sure to be reasonable. Younger children need to be able to explore to fulfill their curiosity and enhance their brain development. Keep them safe, but keep in mind that everything they do is a learning experience. Children will test their boundaries! Consistency is key… stick to the same rules and the same consequences for breaking them.
- Good Nutrition – Healthy eating habits are not only important for physical growth, but mental growth as well. Making fun healthy snacks together is a great way to introduce new foods to your children…e.g. “ants on a log” or building things out of fruit cut into cubes.
- Play Dates – Have play dates as regularly as possible. Children learn a lot from each other. Spending time with other children will allow them to practice sharing and social skills.
- Art – Art is very important to many different aspects of early child development…e.g. creativity, motor skills, and problem solving. Encourage them to be creative by praising their paintings and clay sculptures.
- Affection– Everyone needs to feel loved, especially little ones who are just learning about different emotions. This is the time for them to learn empathy and respect for others. The way they are treated as children will help mold them as people and determine how they will treat others as they grow up. The amount of affection a child receives has also been proven to have a major effect on brain development. Show them as much love and affection as you possibly can!
Tender Loving Kare is here to help! Check out our Infant/Toddler and Preschool Programs!
Here are some tips for choosing toys for toddlers!
Try out these fun snacks for kids!
Check out this link on Encouraging Creativity!