Did you know that 90% of a child’s brain is formed in the first 5 years of life? What occurs during the first five years of life can have an enormous impact on not only how well a baby’s brain develops, but how well that baby learns and grows throughout his or her lifetime.
Because these early years are so critical, it’s really important that we, as parents, talk, read and sing to our children every single day. These activities are some of the simplest yet effective ways to interact with your children starting from the day they are born.
In my household, we do simple, fun activities with Shelby, like counting her toes and now at the age of two she’s counting right along with us!
My girls love playing together and since there’s quite an age difference between Shelby, Sarah (8) and Samantha (11), they play pretend together a lot! It’s a great way for Shelby to learn from her older sisters. They’ll count imaginary money while playing ‘pretend store’ or sing lullabies and songs like ‘Shoe fly, don’t bother me!’ when playing house.
Every day after Shelby takes her bath, I sing to her while I put lotion on her. We also point out body parts and then we count her toes again! Repetition helps her learn and already she’s trying to count to five by herself! She’s mastered, “two free, four.”
Reading is another ritual we started with all of our kids at bedtime. They get to pick out the stories and we read them together. Now that my older girls can read by themselves, they get to read to me and Shelby!
Even if you only have five minutes to sit down, your kids can learn so much. Read a story, sing them a song. Get on the floor with them and help build something.
These are all things that First 5 California suggest that parents can do to encourage strong language skills in their children’s first 5 years of life.
Some parents may not know how important it is to start talking, reading and singing to their children so soon after they are born, so I encourage them to use First 5 California as resource. Every word a baby hears impacts how their brain develops and the more they hear, the better prepared they’ll be by the time they start school.
I found a ton of activities to play with Shelby, like “Make your own music” and a ton of free downloads like cookbooks or Potter the Otter activity sheets. First 5 California even has a Pandora radio station with popular children’s songs for you and your kids to sing along to! It’s a great place to look for creative, fun, and free activities to do with your children!
You can learn more with First 5 California on their Facebook page.
Don’t forget to #talkreadsing!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of First 5 California via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.