Research shows the importance of providing children with many language opportunities, including talking, reading, and singing. This tip sheet, created by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services in partnership with Too Small to Fail, gives excellent practical tips on facilitating a rich conversation with preschool children, including using questions, expanding the child’s words, and interactive reading!
Best for infants around 1 mo. Infant should be lying in front of you. Hold your index fingers up to the infants fingers touch gently until they grasps each finger firmly. Gently pull baby forward and watch baby hold on tight, straighten arms and begin to sit forward. Smile and say things like, “look how strong you are”!
Goal: Supports the development of muscle and vision as baby focuses on your voice and face while using their arm and hand muscles.
Encourage children to name animals and then move their body like that animal. They can incorporate sounds as well. You might even make an ‘animal parade’. Talk about the different ways they move their bodies to look like the animal and name the body parts they use. (The book From Head to Toe by Eric Carle is a great resource for this activity).
Goal: Expand children’s vocabulary related to body parts and animal names and move in a variety of ways.
Show children how to fold a large sheet of construction paper in half. Open up the paper. Fill some cups with paint and let children spoon some dots of paint onto their paper. Fold the paper and let the children rub, pound, and squish the folded paper to move the paint around. Open the paper up to see the design that was made. Each side of the painting will be a mirror image of the other, so you could start a conversation about symmetry and other things in the world around that have symmetry such as butterflies, flowers, or snowflakes. Children might also notice places where the colors they have used have mixed to create new colors or shades.
Goal: Children will explore symmetry and the effect that their hands have on mixing and moving paint.