Birth to 3 years old
Young children first begin to learn literacy and math skills through oral language and exploring common objects. As you build your child's skills keep in mind that every baby and toddler is in need of growing and developing in three different areas; intellectual, social, and emotional.
It is important for parents, caregivers, and educators to meet the specific needs of these young minds and bodies as they develop. As you work with this age group create a positive learning environment where children can play and explore. It is very important not to push children at this age or have formal instruction. Children at this age learn best and will develop the necessary skills needed simply by playing and being loved.
As you work with this age group remember the best learning babies and toddlers will recieve is through the time you spend loving and playing with them. Children at this age should never be 'pushed' to preform.
Language and literacy skills work together to communicate about and understand the world around us. Children from birth to three years of age develop language and literacy skills as you read books together, sing songs, explore books and magazines, experiment with crayons and markers, and talk to each other. Provide children with lots of opportunities to see literacy and language used in the everyday world of those around them. Click on the book for activities and resources to help develop your child's language and literacy skills at this age.
It is important that you work to develop your child's social development as well as their intellectual development at this age. Beginning around 6-8 months children show preferences toward one parent or caregiver and do not like strangers. This is normal and healthy. However, as children grow and develop they need to be given the opportunity to build relationships with other adults and children their own age. During this time frame young children learn necessary social skills such as sharing and taking turns, having a conversation, and meeting new people.
Parents and caregivers can encourage social development by:
*responding to what a child is trying to communicate
*taking turns while speaking to stimulate conversation
*supervising the sharing of toys with other children
*encourage dramatic play such as "playing house"
*build your child's empathy by pointing out when someone else is sad
At this stage children develop their emotions and learn how to react to their emotions through the modeling and support of their parents and caregivers. It is important while children are young that you work with them so they can be emotionally stable as they get older. Here are some suggestions and tips to improve the emotional development of your child.
Parents and caregivers should:
*listen to and respond to your child's needs helping them feel safe
*remain calm especially if your child is upset
*allow your child to soothe himself
*identify and label the emotions your child is showing
*talk to your child or read books about the emotions he feels