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- 1toddlerTalk about feelings.Help your child describe how they feel. Let them know that all feelings are OK, and that you are there for them when they are happy or upset.
- 1infantCheer them on.Encourage your baby when they try new things. Reassure them that you are there if they look at you or gesture for help. "I see you pulling that car." Give a big smile and kiss when they succeed!
- 2toddlerPhoto album.Sit with your child and look at photos of family members or friends (or pets!). Talk about the people in the pictures and special details or memories.
- 2infantSing.Your baby's favorite songs might be those that repeat words or have rhyming sounds. Sing special songs for special parts of your routine, like bath time or bedtime.
- 3toddlerMeasure while cooking.Find safe ways for your toddler to participate while you are in the kitchen, like counting and helping to measure ingredients.
- 3infantLess and more.As you go about your regular routine, find opportunities to compare amounts using "less" and "more." For example, "Do you want more bananas?" "Now they're all gone!"
- 4toddlerOn and off.Find opportunities for your child to push buttons or turn things on/off (with supervision). Think doorbells, light switches, or faucets. Talk about what they did and what happened as a result.
- 4infantFollow their interests.Notice what your baby looks at or reaches for. If you can, bring the object closer so they can explore it. Describe how it feels and looks.
- 5toddlerWarm up.Before you open the book, check out the cover. Read the title. Look at the pictures. Ask you child what they think the story is about.
- 5infantName that.Name and talk about the parts of the pictures that interest your child or that they point at.
- 6toddlerEmpathize.Build your child's awareness of other people and children by describing their feelings and what caused them. "Amaya is feeling sad because she misses her Daddy."
- 6infantHave a routine.Have consistent times and ways of doing daily activities like feeding, bathing, reading, and bedtime. Routines help babies and young children feel safe and know what to expect. They also help adults manage stress.
- 7toddlerDescribe life.Talk about the everyday things you see and do together. Most things are new and interesting to a toddler!
- 7infantName body parts.When changing or dressing your baby, make a game of naming and pointing to body parts. "Where's Oliver's nose? There it is. Here's my nose." Try singing a round of "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."
- 8toddlerAdd and subtract.With an older toddler, make a game of adding or subtracting from a small set of objects. Line up 3 crackers. Ask, "How many crackers are there? What if I eat one?"
- 8infantMove to the beat.Tap your baby's tummy or clap their hands together to the rhythm of a song. Or rock them as you sing a lullaby.
- 9toddlerLet them problem-solve.If your toddler is concentrating on something, stand back and see what they can figure out by themselves. If they get stuck, give just enough help so they can keep going and don't give up.
- 9infantSink or float.During bath time, guess whether an item will sink or flaot, Then place it in the water to find out. Try a different object. See what happens and talk about it.
- 10toddlerMake a card.Help your child make cards for loved ones. Fold the paper and give them crayons or markers to decorate. Deliver the card or help them put it in the mailbox.
- 10infantKeep it simple.Board books with hard covers and thick pages are made especially for babies. Choose books that are short and have simple, bright pictures.
- 11toddlerEncourage them.Be supportive and encouraging when your child tries new things.
- 11infantRole model.Your baby learns how to act by watching you. Model the values and behaviors you want to pass on to them, like being kind and generous, or handling challenges calmly (just do your best).
- 12toddlerRhyme time.Make up rhyming chants for daily routines starring your child. A bath rhyme might go like this: "Soapy Samantha in the tub / Rub-a-dub-dub-rub-a-dub-dub."
- 12infantPoint to objects.Point to objects and name them—especially the things that seem to interest your baby.
- 13toddlerClap in a pattern.Have your toddler repeat the pattern and dance with you.
- 13infantWhat's inside?Wrap an object in a piece of paper. See if your baby can remove the paper to see what's inside. Talk about what they found and the crinkle sound that the paper makes.
- 14toddlerFast and slow dancing.Play a fast song for your child to dance to, then a slower song. Talk about the different speeds and how you child's dancing changes with the music. Join in if you could use a dance break!
- 14infantDo tummy time.Babies should sleep on their backs, but during the day while they are awake, make sure your baby gets some "tummy time."
- 15toddlerHelp them follow along.Point to the words and pictures. Talk about the colors, shapes, and what the characters are doing.
- 15infantShow your interest.When you read, make an effort to show how interesting the story is to you using your voice and facial expressions. Say "I want to know what happens on the next page!"
- 16toddlerAct out emotions.With an older toddler, act out different emotions for your child to guess. Pretend that you are happy, sad, excited, or tired. They can also take a turn being the actor.
- 16infantComfort them.Comfort your baby when they get fussy or cry. They might be tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. Try rocking them or singing a lullaby. It will take time to learn what works best.
- 17toddlerAsk questions.Get your toddler to think. Ask questions that start with "Who . . .?" "What . . .?" or "Why . . .?" For example, "Why do you think the boy is sad?" Show interest in their answers.
- 17infantImitation games.Get nice and close to your baby and give them a big smile. Around 6-8 weeks old, they will start to smile back. Give them time to respond. Show your pleasure, and go back and forth imitating their expressions.
- 18toddlerA-B-A-B.Have fun with patterns. With an older child, alternate grapes and strawberries. Ask, "Which comes next, a grape or a strawberry?" Can your child make a pattern?
- 18infantFill up and dump out.For example, use a container to scoop and dump water in the bathtub. Use words like "in," "out," "full," and "empty."
- 19toddlerPlay guessing game.For example, put a few objects in a bag and have your child guess what's inside without looking. They can feel, smell, and shake the bag.
- 19infantContainer play.Once your baby can grasp objects, they will enjoy picking them up and dropping them into containers. What objects/containers could they use? Describe their actions using position words.
- 20toddlerLook for letters.Look for letters with your child. Try to find the first letter in their name. See how many places you can find it while reading or on packaging or signs.
- 20infantRead regularly and with expression.Your baby wont understand for a while, but that's fine. They will hear your voice, see the pictures, and develop good feelings about books.
- 21toddlerOffer choices.Offer choices like what to wear or eat, but give a limited number of options. For example, "It's time for a snack. Do you want an apple or grapes?"
- 21infantReassure when nervous.Your emotions affect how your baby feels about a situation. If you have to separate from your child, talk and smile to reassure them. Say "Mommy/Daddy will be back" so they learn to connect that promise with your return.
- 22toddlerFill in the blank.When you sing your child's favorite songs, leave out words for them to fill in. Or you can say the wrong word and see if they catch you.
- 22infantUse playful voice.Smile and look into your baby's eyes. Exaggerate the sounds of words.
- 23toddlerStack blcoks.Encourage your toddler to stack blocks or other objects like plastic cups. Talk to them about what they're doing.
- 23infantComapre using the senses.Help your baby explore things that are the same and different. Let them shake containers that make different sounds. Or give them different types of fabric to touch (like smooth and scratchy). Talk about the similarities and differences.
- 24toddlerMystery bag.Play guessing games. For exmaple, put a few objects in a bag and have your child guess what's inside without looking. They can feel, smell, and shake the bag.
- 24infantMove arms and legs.When you're dressing your baby or changing their diaper, hold and gently move their arms or legs. Talk or sing about what you're doing.
- 25toddlerChange your voice.Try different voices for different characters.
- 25infantBaby books.Board books with hard covers and thick pages are made especially for babies. Choose books that are short and have simple, bright pictures.
- 26toddlerTake turns.Look for ways to practice taking turns. For example, take turns adding blocks to a tower. Or when making dinner, take turns adding ingredients to the bowl. "My turn. Now your turn."
- 26infantPlay together.Hold your baby close, smile, and make silly sounds or faces. Play games like "peek-a-boo." Take a break if they seem overwhelmed or try to look away.
- 27toddlerExpand on what your child says.For example, if they point to a dog and say, "Doggie," you can reply, "Yes, that is a doggie. It's brown and soft."
- 27infantAsk and answer questions.Engage your baby by asking and answering questions about the things that interest them. "Does the ball fit in the tube?" Wait to see how they respond. Then help provide the answer, "No, it's too big. See?"
- 28toddlerPuzzle time.Expose your child to shape sorters or simple puzzles. Let them take the lead and problem solve. Provide help when needed, like labeling shapes or encouraging them to turn pieces.
- 28infantCount.For example, count and wiggle each of their toes. Or count as you gently bounce them in your lap.
- 29toddlerAct it out.Toddlers will start to imitate grown-up activities, like putting a doll to sleep or giving it a shot. Follow their lead, and play along.
- 29infantHelp with experiments.Your infant discovers how the world works by experimenting. They also learn through repetition, so they might drop a spoon over and over to see what happens. Watch and assist!
- 30toddlerDon't be too serious.Your toddler may want to turn the page before you have finished reading it or tell their own version of the story. Be a good listener and follow their lead. It's ok if they can't sit still for the whole book.
- 30infantDescribe the pictures.It's not important to read all—or any—of the words. Point to the pictures and describe the colors, shapes, and what the characters are doing.
- 31toddlerSnuggle up.Hug and cuddle with your toddler so they feel safe and loved.
- 31infantSelf-care.Take time to care for yourself, even if you only have a few minutes. Call a friend, take a walk, stretch, eat healthy food, breathe fully, or start a hobby. Talk to your doctor if you often feel sad or stressed.
- 32toddlerI spy.Play "I Spy." For example, say "I spy a bird. Can you find it?" If your child has trouble finding it, give a hint about where to look. You can play I Spy almost anywhere.
- 32infantFollow their interests.Talk about the things your baby looks at or reaches for. Notice which ways of talking or singing seem to interest them the most.
- 33toddlerMatch and sort.Make a game of matching and sorting objects into groups. Arrange them by color, shape, or size. For example, find as many green things as you can, then sort them from smallest to largest.
- 33infantCompare sizes.Talk to your baby about things that are different size. For example, put their hat next to yours and say, "Who wears the little hat? Aaron! Who wears the big hat? Mommy."
- 34toddlerMove like animals.Invite you child to move like different animals. Can they hop like a frog? Flap like a bird? Slither like a snake? Burn off some energy and have fun choosing new animals to imitate.
- 34infantLet them move around.Let your baby explore their surroundings by reaching, rolling, scooting, and crawling. Just make sure they are safe.
- 35toddlerAsk questions."What do you think will happen next?" or "Why is the girl happy?" Respond to your child's comments and questions. Show your interest in their ideas.
- 35infantFollow their lead.When your baby starts to lose interest, try another book or stop. Short periods of reading will work best.
- 36toddlerPraise effort.Encourage your child when they try something new or difficult. Instead of doing it for them, help just enough so they can be successful. Then praise their effort until they succeed.
- 36infantRedirect.Testing limits is a natural part of learning. Focus on the things your baby can do instead of the things you don't want them to do. If necessary, try redirecting their behavior with another activity.
- 37toddlerUse your hands.Point to the objects you talk about. Encourage your child to point to objects that you name.
- 37infantTalk to them.Include your baby in everyday routines by talking to them during activities like changing, feeding, bathing, and errands. Describe what you are doing.
- 38toddlerFind the match.In the kitchen, give your child a container and 2 lids. See if they can figure out which lid fits and then put it on. Use size and shpe words like "longer" and "wider." If they get the hang of it, try more containers/lids.
- 38infantCompare objects.Help your baby explore things that are the same and different. Let them shake containers that make different sounds. Or give them different types of fabrics to touch (like smooth and scratchy). Talk about the differences.
- 39toddlerPlay obstacle course.Make a simple obstacle course using blankets, pillows, or boxes. See if your child can go "over," "under," "around," and "through" them.
- 39infantMirror play.Give your baby a small mirror to play with or sit in front of a large mirror together and make silly faces. Point to and label their body parts.
- 40toddlerAct it out.Your child might be instpired to play based on the stories you read. Can they follow the character's actions? What toys or objects might serve as props?
- 40infantInvolve them.They might want to hold the book, turn the pages, or pat the pictures. They might even chew on the book. It's all part of learning.
- 41toddlerSet basic limits.Focus on safety-related rules like not hitting people. For younger toddlers, put a "No" in front of the thing you don't want your child to do and redirect them to another activity. For older toddlers, give a simple explanation for the rule and what they could do instead. Use the same rules consistently and do your best to stay calm.
- 41infantRespond to them.Answer your baby in a loving voice when they make a sound or movement.
- 42toddlerFollow their fingers.Young toddlers communicate with gestures, especially pointing. Label and talk about the things they point to. Encourage your child to point to objects that you name. "Where is the pig? There it is."
- 42infantGo back and forth.When your baby makes a sound, show excitement on your face and in your voice. Respond with words. See how long you can keep the "conversation" going back and forth between the two of you.
- 43toddlerLook for shapes.Point out shapes and describe them to your child. "Look, that window is a square with four sides." See if they can find and name shapes around them.
- 43infantCompare using the senses.Help your baby explore thing that are the same and different. Let them shake containers that make different sounds. Or give them different types of fabric to touch (like mooth and scratchy). Talk about the similarities and differences.
- 44toddlerMake art.Your toddler will enjoy scribbling with crayons, markers, or chalk. They can also experiment with folding or tearing paper. Talk to them about the colors and shapes.
- 44infantGive objects to handle.Provide objects of different colors, shapes, and textures. Use safe, everyday objects. You don't need fancy toys to keep your baby's attention!
- 45toddlerRe-read.Toddlers learn through repetition, so it is normal when they want to read a favorite book over and over. Notice how proud they feel when they master the story. But try for variety, too, because new books offer new things to see learn.
- 45infantName that.Name and talk about the parts of the pictures that interest your child or that they point at.
- 46toddlerGo easy on yourself.Life can feel overwhelming, and we all make mistakes. Focus on the big picture and be gentle with yourself when things don't go as planned. Ask for help. All parents need help.
- 46infantHold, kiss,and cuddle.Provide lots of loving attention and touch. Babies don't get spoiled, so there is no need to hold back on showing love.
- 47toddlerListen and respond.Show your toddler that your interested in what they have to say. Respond to their comments and questions.
- 47infantTalk a lot.Talk to your baby from the time they are born during activities like changing, feeding, bathing, and errands. Describe what you are doing.
- 48toddlerCount sets of objects.Encourage your child to point to each object as you count together and say how many there are in total. "One, two, three, four—there are four strawberries." Split the objects into two groups and count each.
- 48infantStack towers.Help your baby stack blocks or other objects like plastic cups. Describe what they're doing using size and position words. They will love to knock the tower over!
- 49toddlerGo on a walk.Stop when your child shows interest in something and talk about it. If it is something that is safe to touch, let them touch it to find out how it feels.
- 49infantFive senses.Provide objects with different colors, shapes, sounds, and txtures. Your baby will love to examine items from your home and nature, like keys, sponges, and pinecones. Sit back and see what interests them more.
- 50toddlerMake connections.Help your child make personal connections to the stories you read. For example, "Do you remember when we saw the fire truck? How did it sound? It was loud!"
- 50infantSnuggle up.Hold your baby in your lap so they feel cozy and can see the pictures.
- 51toddlerInvolve them.Invite your toddler to help with everyday tasks, like handing you clothes for the laundry.
- 51infantPut words to feelings.Pay attention to your child's sounds, movements, and facial expressions. Put words to their feelings, preferences, and needs. "You were scared when the dog barked." Or, "You like that carrot. You took two big bites."
- 52toddlerStep by step.As you go about daily activities with your child, talk about the steps involved. When starting up the bath, say "First, we turn on the warm water. Then we add some cold water until it's just right."
- 52infantTalk a lot.Talk to your baby from the time they are born during activities like changing, feeding, bathing, and errands. Describe what you are doing.