Talk to your child all day long.

  • Speak about your daily routine.
  • Describe objects in your environment by name, color and number.
  • Use words to talk about feelings.
  • Ask lots of questions.
  • Sing, dance and play using as many words as possible.
  • Count together using numbers 1-20.

Use books and writing/drawing tools.

  • Read or look at books together. Describe what you see. Guess what comes next.
  • Encourage drawing and then writing. Help them learn to write their name.

Give time and experiences for children to explore safely.

  • Offer chances to play both inside and outside.
  • Provide activities that use both big muscles (gross motor activities like running and jumping) and small ones (fine motor activities like sorting small objects, stringing beads or cutting with children’s scissors).

Pay attention to your child’s needs.

  • Watch for what a child is signaling. Then give a loving response that meets his/her needs.
  • Provide a safe, nurturing environment. (Yelling, hitting and drug/alchohol use hurt children now and forever.)

Teach your child good behavior.

  • Encourage your child to interact with other children appropriately (sharing, taking turns, using words instead of hitting/biting).
  • Teach your child about how to wait when needed.

Encourage problem solving.

  • Avoid rushing in to solve daily difficulties. Ask them what they think they need to do next.

Keep routines including:

  • Sufficient sleep including regular naptimes and bedtimes
  • Meals
  • Reading time
  • Regular doctor check-ups and immunization shots
  • Regular dental check-ups

Serve healthy food.

  • Eat a balanced diet of dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Watch how much sugar and salt you eat.
  • Have meals together at a table and without television.

Show your child that education matters.

  • Visit the school your child will attend.
  • Attend school events.
  • Ask questions of teachers.
  • Volunteer at school.
  • Continue your own learning.
  • Talk about finishing high school and going to college.