As parents, we want what is best for our children – and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start! There is so much for a baby to learn, and it’s easy to worry about getting everything right. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources available to help parents today – from independent parenting blogs like this one to large organizations like First 5 California, the sponsor of today’s post!
A lot of parents worry about finding the perfect schools for their children. Good schools definitely make a difference, but as your child’s parent you are actually the key person to helping your child develop into a happy, healthy, and caring adult – because learning starts at birth! Children do some of their most important learning at home with parents, and you can help your child learn regardless of how much education or how many resources you had growing up through three easy steps: talking, reading, and singing!
Talk. Read. Sing.
Talking, reading, and singing are the three of the most important things you can do to give your baby, toddler, and preschooler a great start in life! Most parents find some of these activities easier than others, but your child is a very appreciative and uncritical audience! Talk, read, and sing with your child with the goal of enjoying your time with them and they will enjoy this time with you more than any toy or professional entertainment!
Even tiny newborn babies love being talked to. And you can talk to them about absolutely anything! I have a delightful video of my dad talking to my daughter Emma when she was only three weeks old about the mathematical symbol pi because he was visiting us on pi day (March 14th). She loved every minute of his funny little talk! Be goofy and melodramatic – it helps your children develop emotional intelligence, while developing their communication skills!
Books are wonderful ways to bond with your child – and there are so many fun picture books available these days! Public libraries are free to join, and most of them have wonderful collections of board books that you don’t need to worry about your child destroying. Read the words on the page, or make up your own story. Read through the pages in order, flip through at random for a nonsensical story, or stay on a single page and admire the illustrations. Your child will love both versions, and they are learning no matter how you read the book! You can read more here about how I read with my kids.
This is the one time in life that all parents get to be rock star singers. You can sing in tune, out of tune, songs that are popular, songs that make no sense. You can scat sing like Ella Fitzgerald. Your baby, toddler, and preschooler will drink it up – and learn at the same time! Drop by my music and parenting post to learn more about how we use music in our home, or go here to find some of our favorite musical activities for toddlers.
Visit the First 5 California site for all sorts of resources that can help you raise a happy, healthy, intelligent, and well-adjusted child! Their easy-to-navigate site includes simple and fun activities that you and your child can enjoy together, as well as a learning center and health center – all accessible regardless of where you live! A services and support section of the site covers resources that are available for California residents.
What are your favorite ways to spend time with your children? What activities did you most enjoy when they were babies, toddlers, and preschoolers?
This post is sponsored by First 5 California, a parent outreach and education program that supports parents, grandparents, and caregivers so that they can give their children the best future possible. You can find excellent parenting resources on their website, as well as in their Facebook and Twitter feeds.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of First 5 California via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.