As a parent, you are your child's first and best teacher! You are an integral part of your child's early learning experiences. That can be an overwhelming statement, if you're wondering where to start. We've compiled a list of things you can do to support the development of your child's thinking skills.
Babies (Birth to 1 Year Old)
From birth to one year of age, your child learns using their senses. You might notice this by the way they try to put everything in their mouth (a large source of every parents anxiety) or turn to find the source of a passing fire truck. It's this exploration that your child learns very important concepts such as cause and effect, size and shape, as well as problem solving.
You can support your Baby's thinking skills by playing disappearing and reappearing games. This will help your child learn object permanence or the concept that things still exist even when they cannot see them. Offer sensory toys for your child to explore with various textures, shapes, and colors. Make the most of daily routines by singing a song while brushing teeth or helping drop clothes in the washing machine.
Toddlers (1 - 2 Years Old)
Toddlers are eager to figure out the world around them. Like a scientist, they do this through experimenting with objects around them. You will also find your child investigating the use of objects as tools during this stage.
Support your Toddler's learning by offering tools for your child to explore. You can use toys in the bath to fill and pour out water or in the sandbox to fill and dump sand. Encourage your child to assist with self-care activities such as combing their hair or brushing their teeth to learn about familiar objects. You can also introduce choices such as picking which pajamas they wear or pick out a story to read for bed.
Twos (Two Years Old to 3 Years Old)
This stage of life has been coined by many as the "terrible two's," it's a time of growth and change for your child as their personality grows and develops. You will notice your child learn to work through more complex issues and learn empathy.
Support your young child's developing mind by offering them materials to act out stories or how they are feeling. Let them sort and categorize things with you such as helping unload the dishwasher or pair socks together while folding laundry. Encourage your child to test different solutions to problems. You might suggest trying the a different puzzle piece or way of doing something to help them come to the answer.
As your child grows, they will learn from your critical thinking ability and decision making processes. Developing your child's thinking skills will prepare them for elementary school and be school-ready!