Studies reveal that from the moment a child is born, learning is taking place. Think about it. A new born baby follows your voice and star to distinguish speech from other sounds. A determined one-year-old feeds an avid curiosity by investigating every nook and cranny of the environment.
With all the pressure on school readiness around the world, it may be hard for parents to understand how the simple foundation they create impacts their child’s later success. Nurturing and early play experiences shape a childs ability to learn and relate to others throughout a lifetime.
It starts with Y-O-U, not A-B-C
There’s no better way to let your child know they’re loved than by playing together. The emotional connection helps him understand that you enjoy being with him. And you might not imagine how much your habits will impact the child’s. Do you try new things? Read? Get out into the garden and dig into nature? Complete tasks? Chances are they’ll take their first direction from you as their first, and most important, role model.
Your early interactions matter greatly,. Fact is, the simple act of just talking to your child has a very positive effect on brain development. Environments rich in language stimulation and interaction are proven to engage a child and the reverse all seems true. Researchers call fro parents to be more intentional about how they interact with children from infancy forward. On a walk, in a car, down on the floor in the living room the message is; Chat it up.
You + child + play = wow!
Remember that the formula for child development isn’t complicated.
There are 1,825 days of play from the times a child is born until Kindergarten, 1,825 opportunities to with you and experience the world in the most natural way, through play. Fun and learning will intersect because the more children play, the more they learn from hugs, kisses, and ‘great jobs’, you’ll help your child get ready for school and for life.
Kathlessn Alfano, PH.D. in Early Childhood Education, is the Senior Director of Chils Research for Fisher-Price. She has published numerous articles about children and play, and speaks on the topic of early childhood development around the world.
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By Kathleen Alfano, Ph.D., Senior Director Child Research, Fisher-Price