Children learn to communicate in order to get a need met, or to establish or maintain interaction with someone they love. Babies communicate from birth by utilizing different methods, like sound (crying, cooing), facial expressions (eye contact, smiling), and gestures (moving legs in excitement or distress, or pointing). Across the first few years of life, communication skills of children grow by leaps and bounds, follow some of these tips to help support and encourage the communication development of your child:
Respond to Gestures: If your child puts their arms out, pick them up, use simple words to help develop a meaning to the gestures like “you want up”. Make eye contact and talk with them if they make eye contact with you. Immediate responses can let your baby know that communication is important and effective.
Teach non-verbal communication: Show them how to relate gestures to emotions and feelings, and how people use them to communicate. For example, show them how if someone didn’t like how loud something is, they may cover their ears.
Encourage Pretend Play: Children are more likely to express themselves when they are pretending. They may have an easier time expressing their feelings and talk about how their teddy bear is afraid of thunder, than how they are. Pretend play also gives them a chance to act out other roles and think about how others would feel in situations, helping to develop empathy.
Be a good role model: Your child will watch you very intently and study your every move. If you talk to other with kindness and respect, your child will likely follow your lead and develop your manners and tone as they begin to speak more and more. This also establishes an example of how children should expect to be treated by others as well.
The bedroom is a great place to incorporate learning activities, whether you're getting your child ready for the day in the morning, or winding down for bedtime, there are plenty of activities you can incorporate to encourage your child's learning and development.
If you've got an infant, it's a great activity to express what you're doing while dressing them to speak the steps out loud to them and interact to develop their social and emotional skills. Name the body parts you're putting clothes on, for example: the shirt goes over the head or the sock goes on the foot.
If your child is in the toddler range, expand on the last activity a bit and encourage them to pick out their own clothes for the day. Ask them to identify where each area of their body each item of clothing belongs.
Reading before bed is a great way to bond with your child, all while encouraging their development. If you've got an older toddler, encourage them to turn pages and point to what they see on the page. Ask them how they think the characters are feeling and what they think will happen next.
Let your child choose the book, the more interest they have in it, the more attentive and enjoyable reading time will be. Reading will not only encourage and develop literacy and language skills, but by letting them choose, you are showing them that you value their interests and choices.
Need some ideas for your bed time stories? Check out this great list of books which promote like skills for children of various ages: Developmental Bedtime Stories
Sunny Days Acquires Ages & Stages, LLP
We are excited to welcome Ages & Stages, LLP to the Sunny Days family! Sunny Days recently completed the acquisition of Ages & Stages, LLP, of the Mid-Hudson area of New York. Ages & Stages has been a leader in providing the Mid-Hudson region with Early Intervention and Preschool therapy for over 15 years. Sunny Days Co-CEO Donna Maher stated "We are very much looking forward to engaging their expertise and talent to help make Sunny Days an even better service provider, both in the Mid-Hudson area, and nationally".
We are proud to present this FREE informational session for families and children with specials needs. Join us on June 30th at 7:00PM for a presentation from Staci J. Greenwald, Esq. Ms. Greenwald specializes in working with families to help them navigate the special education system and assisting them in making sure all children have access to the appropriate educational opportunities.
Ms. Greenwald will share information on the transition from early intervention to preschool such as:
- What to expect during this transition
- Ideas to help you navigate the transition smoothly
For more information click here:
Transitioning From Early Intervention to Preschool
Interested in a career in early childhood intervention? Early intervention is the perfect fit for anyone looking to help improve the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities. If helping kids from ages birth to three sounds like your calling, then visit our Early Intervention Career Guide to learn more, view our open positions, and take the first step toward a rewarding career helping children.
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