During the first few years of your child’s life, they develop so much. Even the smallest gesture to help their progression can make all the difference in the world.
A child’s brain develops and grows to around 90% of what it will reach by adulthood by the time they are 7 years old. That’s a lot! And the more you encourage their development, the better off they will be. Here are some tips to help.
1. Make eye contact as much as possible.
Children become familiar with and bond with the people they are around most by looking at your face. Do not look away from them, instead, make eye contact as much as possible.
2. Use a rattle to encourage shoulder strength.
In the first months of life, tummy time is so important. This time allows them to build strength in their head, neck and back, and shoulders. During tummy time, shake a rattle or ring a bell in front of them. Observe whether they live their head and shoulders. If they don’t- try to get them to.
3. Sing to them.
Singing and talking to your baby as much as possible teaches them how to talk, even during the first few months. They may mimic you and try to make the same sounds like you. Encourage this. You are paving the way for them to learn to talk.
4. Play with them!
Play is so important- it teaches your child valuable life and social skills while encouraging development. Peek-a-boo is a great way to do this because it captivates their attention and helps them with memory.
5. Show them how to say goodbye with their hands.
When you say goodbye to someone, make it a point to say it while making the hand gesture, and encourage your little one to do it too. This will help them to make the connection between the words and gestures.
6. Use a doll to teach them about the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Using a doll, show your little one the eyes, nose, and mouth while saying the words. Then, point to those parts on your child, while saying them. Do this throughout the first two years.
7. Name objects.
Gather a bunch of random objects (ball, block, doll, book, etc.) and hold them up to your little one and name them. As you do this, you can start adding descriptive words to add some oomph!
1 1/2- 2 years
8. Give objects and containers for your child to place things.
Give your little one some Tupperware containers or storage containers, or a shoebox and some things to place in it. Then show them how to place them and take them out. This helps improve hand-eye coordination.
9. Ask them simple questions.
Use simple questions to help your little one learn to respond and interact with others. During this stage, they are likely trying to communicate, and asking small and simple questions will help.
10. Name their activities.
Start naming activities when your child is partaking in them. For example, “You are playing with your blocks.” or “You are taking a bath,” you can also name activities you are doing, like “Mommy is cooking dinner.” This helps them build connections between words and activities.
11. Turn simple questions into games.
“Where is your nose?” “Where is your toy car?” Ask them questions and make them into games. This not only helps them to communicate but also teaches them to communicate about what they see and hear.
12. Read them stories and ask questions about the book’s images.
“Do you see the spotted animal?” “What is that?” While reading stories with pictures, ask questions about the images in the books. This will help them to memorize objects and to make connections between new objects and words.
13. Play logic games.
Take water from a tall, skinny vase and then place it into a shorter, wider vase or bowl. Then, ask them which container has more water. This will help them to learn logic.
14. Give them small and simple chores.
Start encouraging your child to help out with activities and chores around the house, like picking up objects or clearing the table for dinner. When they help, praise them for their effort. This helps build their self-esteem and confidence while teaching them useful tasks.