This post is for First 5 California, but all of my thoughts and opinions are my own.
From the moment Ellie was born, we started talking about her education and what we as parents can do to help give her every opportunity to be successful in school and life.
We always want better for our kids than what we had. For me, education is where that starts.
I was constantly searching the Internet and bookstores for tips, tricks, and advice on what I could do to help her be prepared. I wanted her to enjoy learning and school. I felt like by giving her a head start, it might give her the extra confidence at school.
Yes, I bought the baby videos, the toddler education books and everything else that promised to make my kid smarter.
None of it worked better than just me getting down and playing with her. We would color and talk about the colors we were using and the shapes we were making. Making sure we read to her as often as possible.
We would read some books so much that she would memorize them. This made for our favorite party trick. When we had company over, we’d have our 3 year old daughter “read” them a story.
Not only did we get a good giggle, but it made Ellie feel really good about herself. This encouraged her to want to learn more. That love of learning is still there. I love seeing her devour books 2 to 3 grade levels above her. More importantly I love to see how proud she is of herself!
First 5 California can actually give parents the power to impact their child’s brain development and learning abilities!
“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 the baby’s brain develops at that moment, but how well that baby learns and grows throughout their lifetime.” You can learn more brainy insights like these from First 5 California.
So what can you do? 3 simple steps…
Talk – From the moment your child is born, speak to them in full sentences. Studies show the more words babies hear, the larger their vocabularies will be. Even if they don’t understand the words at first, it’s important that they hear the patterns and word sounds. Vocabulary size can also affect a child’s likelihood to graduate high school and even college.
Tip – When walking through the market, talk to them about what you’re doing. Point out the different fruits, boxes, or anything. Talk about the shapes and colors. They might not be able to respond, but they are learning!
Read – Don’t wait until Preschool or Kindergarten, start reading the day you bring them home from the hospital. Encouraging toddlers to respond and comment on a story has been proven to accelerate a 2 year old’s language development by up to 9 months.
Tip – Reading the same story over and over again to an infant can be a little, well, boring. Read anything to them, the newspaper, your favorite novel or even an email. Hearing the pattern of the words and your voice will help determine how your baby’s brain develops.
Sing – Babies are fascinated with faces and your voice. The stimulation of your singing is not only helping their brains to develop, but it’s also stimulating them and it introduces the first type of play your child will have. You are your child’s favorite toy. They are watching you sing and talk and watching how you pronounce words, preparing themselves for speech.
Tip – Skip buying the expensive educational DVD’s and toys. Simply singing the alphabet or banging wooden spoons together in rhythm will stimulate their brains and encourage brain development.
Check out more “brainy insights” from First 5 California here: http://first5california.com/parents/learning-center.aspx?id=9&sub=111.
It is up to us as parents to start our kids on the right path- not nature. Don’t worry; you don’t have to spend money on educational videos and books. Talking, reading and singing is free – and you can do it anytime.
First 5 California is here to help too. Their website is updated regularly with educational activities and other tips for parents who want give their children every opportunity to be successful in school and life! You can visit the First 5 California website here. Make sure you also like their Facebook page as well. #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.