Tips for Parents
In your child's very early years (birth to 5), you have many opportunities to enhance your child's overall development. Here are some suggested ideas that may be of benefit to you and your child.
Language ArtsTalk, Sing & Play - Talk to your child everyday while you and your child are eating, chores, riding in the car or on the bus.
Read Together - Read to your child every day. Look for books that relate to what's happening in your child's life at the time, whether it's a family trip or a new experience.
Shapes -To help your child learn shapes, draw or use yarn to form a circle, square, or triangle. Show it to your child, and introduce the name of the shape. Send your child on a search for items in the house that have the same shape. Ask your child to make the shape with his/her hands or body.
Counting -Give your child concrete objects to use as he/she learns to count. You don't need to spend a lot of money - children's toys such as small cars, blocks, or seashells are excellent items to count. Snacks, such as popcorn, raisins, cereal, and marshmallows also make great counting tools. Children can eat them afterwards as a reward.
Personal and Social Development
Expressing Emotions -Accept your child's feelings. Your child needs to know that anger and frustration are normal. Help your child find appropriate ways to deal with these emotions. Supply words for emotions that your child cannot express.
Positive Self Esteem -Create a warm and nurturing environment where children feel accepted and where success is recognized.
Footloose and Fancy Free -Have your child follow along as you show him/her different ways your feet and legs can move (such as hopping, marching, tiptoeing, running in place, sliding, and galloping).
Exploring different ways to get from one place to another -Encourage your child to create his/her own way to walk, crawl, and even move across the room without using his/her feet.
Nature Walk -Take your child on a nature walk. Use a bag or a basket to collect items (leaves, rocks, flowers, etc.) that you find along the way. Make comparisons between the objects that have been collected.
The Five Senses -Place an assortment of items with different textures in a box or bag. Let your child reach inside the box or bag and feel the object and guess what it is without looking.