gallamore west: Three free, fun, and easy ways to help your little ones flourish! #talkreadsing

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Three free, fun, and easy ways to help your little ones flourish! #talkreadsing

Every year I choose One Little Word to focus on, rather than choosing a lofty list of goals. This year my word is Intentional, and I am focusing on being intentional in the way I parent our four little guys. I am choosing to say no more when asked to do things that will take me away from my family, and choosing to say yes more to activities and time that allows me to really focus on our family. It is mind-boggling to me how quickly childhood is zooming by for our kids, and I don't want to waste any of it. Sound familiar? If you have little ones, here are three super important free & easy ways that you can connect with your children from the time they are babies to give them a solid foundation in life:

Talk, Read, and Sing

Don't wait until your child is in preschool- learning begins at infancy and as parents, we have the power to help maximize our child's brain development. And the best part? It's actually fun, easy, and free!

Talk to your kids!

I remember when I first started staying home with our oldest son (who will be 10 years old this year... time flies) I would talk to him ALL. DAY. LONG. And quite honestly, I felt like a nut. I would talk to him about sorting the laundry, I would talk to him about what we were buying at the grocery store, and basically throughout our entire day, I just talked to him. When he started to babble, I asked him tons of questions and he would babble his answers and we would have conversations like that all day long. Fast forward 9 and a half years, and our 4th son is now 22 months old and at that stage where his babbles are turning into real words. And it seriously is the most exciting thing ever to think his answer is going to be a babble, but instead hear him say real words strung together as a sentence! I promise- talking to your baby all the time is not nuts. Instead, it is key to teaching them how to speak, how to have eye contact, how to converse with others because the more words they hear, the larger their vocabulary will be.

Read to your kids!

As a 2nd Grade Teacher turned Stay at Home Mom, our home is practically bursting at the seams with books. Even though it would be prettier to have the kid books out of sight, I keep multiple bookshelves and baskets of books around the house and in the car. We have comfy poofs and couches for the boys in the playroom with shelves full of books for them at their level.

Sitting down for a few minutes throughout the day and "reading the pictures" with little ones is the first step to helping your child be a confident reader. So even if your baby seems too young to understand books, just look at the pictures together, turn the pages together, and say what is happening in the story. Don't worry about reading word for word. Just have fun! When our little guys are at the squirmy age where they won't sit still for more than 2.5 seconds I sometimes bring a pile of books to the bathroom and read to them while they're in the bath tub. We read anywhere and everywhere. Here is a picture of the contents of our almost 2 year old son's car basket. Each of the boys have one in the car.

Sometimes I even set up a pile of books outside in the play structure in the backyard!

Billboards, cereal boxes at the breakfast table, signs labeling different areas inside the grocery store... the possibilities to read to our kids are endless. Seeing our 3 year old son say, "I'm going to read a book now" then plopping himself down, turning the pages correctly, and reading the book mostly through looking at the pictures is one of my favorite parts of my day. Reading can also be playing reading games with your kids, like this fun game...

or filling up a basket of summer fun stuff with books and reading games, and reading and playing those games together!

Sing with your kids!

Just last week I cleaned out our dusty old collection of CDs and I found all of my CDs from my classroom when I taught 2nd grade. I immediately went to my car and added all of them into my CD player {Do new cars even have a CD player anymore? I don't know. My car is old and has a 6-disc changer so it's FULL of kid music now}. I can't even begin to describe how having kid music in the car has changed our car ride experience. All four of our boys are smiling, singing, engaged, clapping, and laughing. And it doesn't end when we get out of the car either. When we come back in the house, our boys continue to sing, dance, and clap all day long. It is THE cutest thing ever, but beyond that, it makes me feel great knowing that something so simple as listening to kid music in the car and singing along with them is helping them develop language skills. Plus, it gives us a chance to get the wiggles out and get silly together.

Sometimes as parents we get SO busy busting through our daily to-do list that it's easy to forget that such easy things can make such a HUGE difference in our children's brain development and learning abilities. But we as parents have the power to make amazing differences in the lives of our children by being intentional in the ways we choose to connect with them. You will be setting your child up for a bright future by incorporating these three free, fun, and easy ideas into your daily life with your little one:

Talk, Read, and Sing

What an amazing power we have as parents to influence our child's live in such a positive way from the day they're born!

Looking for more great ideas? First5 California is bursting with free, fun, and easy ideas to give parents the power to maximize learning and fun with your kids! Check our First5 California on Facebook, Twitter, and their website for tons of great ideas.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of First 5 California via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.


Lars bay said...


Its good to be here, very nice post, the content is amazing, keep posting friend it will be very helpful for everyone, Thanks for sharing. I really liked it.

Thanks And Regards

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