- Teach your child cause and effect – that he can make things happen.More
When infants and toddlers see that they can make things happen it stimulates brain development, builds self-confidence and develops small muscle control, eye-hand coordination, and a sense of order.
A rattle moving back and forth makes a sound.
Hitting or kicking a ball makes it move away.
Turning the handle on a jack-in-the-box will make it pop up.
Turning a basket of objects up side down will spill the objects.
Stacking blocks makes a tower; hitting them makes them fall down.
- When you go to get the mail, explain what mail is and where it comes from.
- Build a snowman with your child.
- Encourage your child to help you in the garden or with other outdoor chores. More
Doing real, purposeful work develops a child’s sense of self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and independence. They also learn life-long practical living skills.
Pull weeds together.
Rake leaves together. Provide a child-size rake for your child.
Sweep the porch or sidewalk together. Provide a child-size broom for your child.
Shovel snow together. Provide a child-size snow shovel for your child.
Plant flowers together and teach your child when and how to water them.
Plant a vegetable garden, even if it’s just a few pots in a sunny spot.
Feed the birds.
- Teach your child about please, thank you and you’re welcome.
- Talk about the shapes and colors your child sees every day as he handles them.Your toy car is green; your cup is yellow; the cracker is a square; your dish is round; the block is a cube, etc.
- Have a bulletin board in your house where art is displayed.
- Brush your teeth together with your child.
- Let your child sort the mail, putting each person’s mail at his or her place at the table.
- Encourage your child to pick out his own clothes and be comfortable with his decisions.
- Make faces at your infant. He will try to imitate you.
- Play music frequently. As many different types as possible.
- Give your baby frequent changes of scenery and make certain she always has something interesting to look at.
- Teach the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods and why. Buy only healthy choices for snacks.
- Teach your child how to make his bed.
- Play traveling games like looking for different color cars and license plates. Imagine what tractor trailers might be hauling.
- Teach your child about what’s in a basic tool kit and how to use basic tools. More
Using tools develops eye-hand coordination, self-confidence, independence, imagination, and develops life-long practical living skills. Don’t forget, girls should learn these skills too and they love using the tools as much as boys!
Show your child how to use the tools safely and how to put them away in her own toolbox. Explain that the adult tools are off-limits because they can be dangerous.
Be sure that the tools are real (not plastic or pretend) and are the right size for the child.
Children should begin these experiences around 3 years old or before if they show an interest.
Provide child-size safety goggles and make a rule that they are worn whenever the tools are used.
Provide a pre-drilled block of wood with screws and a small screwdriver.
Provide a small hammer and large-head nails for hammering nails into a large block of wood or a tree stump.
Provide different grades of sandpaper, a sanding block, and scrap wood for sanding.
Provide an older child (4 years and older) with safety goggles, small hammer, small screwdrivers, nails, screws, small handsaw, hand-cranked drill, sandpaper, and scraps of wood for building and experimenting.
- When you’re fixing something around the house, encourage your child to watch and help.
- Have a family movie night once a week. Talk about the plot and characters afterward.
- Have your child make her own greeting cards for special occasions.