Because taking advantage of every moment is "parte d". Learn with us and incorporate activities to your day-to-day practices to learn alongside your kids throughout the different stages in their lives.
Notice what delights your child at the park and give your child more of those experiences, whether it swinging on a baby swing, tossing piles of leaves or sitting in the sand box. Put words to these experiences or make up a song: "What did you do in the park today, dear little girl of mine? I saw another baby in the park today, mama dear mama of mine…"With your toddler
Talk about what your child wants to do at the park and then make a point of doing that. Then talk about what you did on the way home. This helps your child begin to make choices and plan ahead.
Let your child collect little rocks, leaves or other natural things that fascinate him or her. Sorting helps your child learn to form categories, by seeing the differences and similarities between objects. Bring along containers for scooping and pouring sand.With your preschooler
Make plans to meet other friends at the park and discuss those plans in advance.
Do you want to meet at the swings or at the climber?
If your child likes flowers, talk about their colors and sizes, count them, or ask questions about all the things you could make with them. Or stop to watch a bug or a dog and talk about what you saw later.
Talk to your child in advance about a special thing that she or he can buy at the market. Then look for it, like a treasure hunt. This helps your child learn to be a good observer.
Ask your toddler about the shapes and colors he or she sees. Or, ask your toddler to name things that are up high or down low.
Give your toddler a cracker or piece of a banana. Then point out the crackers and/or bananas in the store.With your preschooler
Take the adventure of looking for items you are going to purchase a step further. Cut out a picture of an item you are going to purchase and have your child match the picture with the real item on the store's shelf.
If there is conflict over what you are buying, set rules. For example: we will buy an item, but sugar can't be one of the first four ingredients. Or it can't have too many preservatives in the food. Have your child look at labels with you to see if this is something you can buy. All of these games can build pre-reading and thinking skills.
When buying fruits, include your child in picking the apples. Asking him or her to look for green or red apples will make your child practice math skills and distinguish between colors.
Create a consistent bedtime schedule that your child can count on.
Think of bedtime as a quiet time to be together rather than a scary time of separation. Your attitude will help build a more positive attitude in your child.With your toddler
Create traditions: First we take a bath and brush our teeth, then we read a story, put on the nightlight, give a kiss and go to sleep. With practice, a consistent schedule will help children learn to go to sleep by themselves.With your preschooler
Your preschooler can take a more active role in planning bedtime traditions and use special time for listening to stories, making up stories about his or her stuffed animals, or for talking about the day.
Give your baby ordinary kitchen objects, such as plastic cups or wooden spoons, to play with while you are fixing a meal.
Name the foods you are eating and talk about foods your baby loves to eat.With your toddler
Let your young child help make the meal – let him or her tear the lettuce for a salad, stir the spaghetti sauce or put napkins on the table.
Ask your toddler to name the foods you are preparing or to fix a pretend meal for their toy animal or doll while you fix dinner for your family.With your preschooler
Ask your child to tell you a story about their day or tell them a story about yours during mealtime.
Create family traditions at meal times, such as a song that you always sing or a game like "I Spy" that you always play.
Just because your baby doesn't talk, doesn't mean he or she isn't learning language. Follow your child's gaze to see what seems to intrigue him or her. Try to see this experience through his or her eyes. Then talk to your child about what they're watching or what you're doing: "Now I'm putting the clothes in the washing machine…or "here goes the soap" or "you're watching the clothes spinning in the dryer." Children whose caring adults connect language to their everyday experiences learn to speak, communicate and read better.With your toddler
If your toddler likes to take clothes in and out of the laundry basket, have him or her help you put the clothes into the washer and dryer. Ask questions like "Can you find the pants and put them in the dryer?" Or, name colors together. These activities can be fun and help build language and thinking skills.With your preschooler
If your child likes to sort things, have him or her make piles of the light clothes and the dark clothes. Older children can also help by finding matching pairs of socks, or finding all of the shirts to put into a pile for folding. These activities can build math and cooperation skills. Feeling useful also helps children feel good, which encourages them to continue to want to be helpful.
Use car travel as a time to sing. Play a tape or CD or sing songs you know or love. You can also make up songs about what you are seeing along the road or sing along with the radio. Singing about everyday activities helps children enjoy the sounds of language, and helps babies begin to associate words with good experiences. Singing also creates a sense of togetherness.For your toddler
If your toddler likes trucks, look for trucks as you drive along and see who can yell out "truck" first. Or listen to what your toddler says and repeat their words, adding new words or rhyming with words they say. These games help children learn to watch carefully and to categorize.For your preschooler
Use car time to talk about your child's day. Ask specific questions ("Did you draw in preschool?" or "Did you eat a cheese sandwich?") rather than general ones ("How was your day?") because they are easier for young children to answer. Help your child talk about past experiences to enhance memory.
Talk with your child about where you are going in the future ("We are going to the market on the way home") to help him or her develop thinking and planning skills.