Life

How To Make A Positive Impact On Your Child’s Development

First 5 California

As parents, we have the power to make a positive impact on our children’s brain development and learning abilities. Did you know 90% of a child’s brain is formed during the first 5 years of their life?

According to First 5 California, “What occurs in the first five years of life can have an enormous impact on not only how well the baby’s brain develops at the moment, but how well that baby learns and grows throughout their lifetime.” First 5 California also goes on to say that “Talking and reading to your child is so important – the more words they hear, the larger their vocabulary will be.” But most importantly, “vocabulary size relates to whether they are likely to graduate from high school and college.”

First 5 California

In our home, we try our best to talk, read and sing to our little one every day both in Spanish and English. Let me just say, it’s definitely a challenge but we know that it will benefit her brain development tremendously. Already at two and a half years of age, we’ve noticed that her vocabulary has grown largely in part to reading and singing to her in both languages. Funny enough, Mia loves when we play a game of translate that word and quiz one another. Although I’m starting to think she mainly likes correcting us. She gets a kick out of it. She’ll say, “Nooo that’s not a naranja (orange) it’s a manzana (apple)!” And proceeds to giggle as if she can’t believe she knows more than us. I just love her giggles!
First 5 California

First 5 California

As parents, we are constantly being told what we should and should not be doing. At times, the information can be conflicting and overwhelming but First 5 California has always provided us with accurate information and at no additional cost. We absolutely love their site and love getting their First 5 California Facebook page post filled with relevant information. Recently, we became aware about a few parent misconceptions in which we thought were factual.

Here’s a couple of the myths from the First 5 CA site:

MYTH: “Real learning starts when my child begins preschool.” – First 5 CA

REALITY: “Even though preschool and kindergarten are traditionally seen as the start of a child’s “formal” education, you are his or her first – and most important – teacher. But luckily, you don’t need a lesson plan – every game of peek-a-boo, as simple as it sounds, can be a learning moment. Books are one of the most effective tools, even from infancy. And studies have shown that encouraging a child’s comments and responses during story time can actually accelerate a two-year-old’s language development by up to nine months.” – First 5 CA

We certainly can attest to this with our little one. During story time, Mia tends to engage by pointing and mentioning what each item is on the page. It’s so neat when she asks, “Mami, what’s that?” Only to go back to it a few minutes later and repeat the new word she just learned. She’s like a little sponge. Absorbing everything she hears and sees.

First 5 California

MYTH: “If you want a smart baby, you need to buy brainy toys, videos, flash cards and Mozart CDs.” – First 5 CA

REALITY: “There’s no evidence that pricy, “educational” toys make a difference in brain development – in fact, they can often overstimulate, which won’t make your child any smarter. While it’s great to have a variety of interesting, colorful playthings at home, the very best “toys” for your baby are you – and your voice. Talking, reading and singing to your baby are the most impactful activities you can do with your child, and they don’t cost a thing – or take up any space in the toy box. Put your baby in a sling or stroller and take a walk, pointing out squirrels or buses and trucks along the way. Sort laundry colors and make shapes out of folding towels. Clang kitchen utensils together to make “music” and sing a song as you set the table for dinner. The opportunities are easy … and endless.” – First 5 CA

So put away the brainy toys. Let’s start talking, reading and singing more to our little ones. We as parents, can make a positive impact in our children’s brain development and learning abilities from day one.

First 5 California

Thank you to First 5 California for sponsoring this post and providing my family with important information regarding our toddlers brain development and her learning capabilities. Be sure to visit their site here and follow them on Twitter @First5CA and Facebook at facebook.com/first5california. #TalkReadSing

Be part of the movement and share First 5 California’s new commercial about the lifelong impact parents have on a child’s healthy brain development! #talkreadsing

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


    6 COMMENTS

  • Cynthia Adame March 20, 2014 Reply

    I would have to agree. With my fist child I read so many books and magazine on how to train, educate, and stimulate my little ones learning experience. I remember and I still do now, love to see how they recite the stories that were read to them repeatedly. They like to imitate the exact words, hand motions, and pitch of sound or emotion and it looks like they are reading at 2 years, but not exactly. You will find yourself reading that same book each time, watch the same movie more than 5 times a day. It is all worth it, from experience I learned that reaching them at an earlier age between 0-5 yrs, it is important. Sometimes I play a game and leave out a word when I read them their favorite stories or skip a page to see if they are paying attention and they are, they will tell me. I don’t get away with anything from them.

    • themotheroverload March 20, 2014 Reply

      Cynthia, I applaud you for taking the time to talk, read and sing to your little ones. Such a positive impact you’re making on their brain development.;)

  • Miles M. March 20, 2014 Reply

    Great post, its never to early to begin to influence a child’s development. Keeping things simple makes it easier for the parent to teach and fun for the child to learn.

    The second myth regarding pricey and fancy toys has always bothered me. My life as a child was based on learning from the world around me, learning lessons from everyday tasks. At 5 years old my parents finally gave in and got me a bicycle, that ended up being the beginning of an adventure in life that continues to this day.

    My parents taught me how to read and write in English and Spanish before I was in 1st grade, much like you are doing with Mia.

    I am sure we know more now about child development than when I was kidnapping red ants from their ant hill to start my own ant colony in a small glass aquarium, but the fundamentals remain the same.

    Some learning toys may be beneficial, however when the day is finished and your little one is finally asleep and you step back with that feeling of relief and a smile on your face, what really matters is how much face to face time you had with your child.

    Thanks for posting

    • themotheroverload March 20, 2014 Reply

      Hi Miles, absolutely agree. Pricey toys can be fun for a bit but talking, reading and singing to our little ones is actually beneficial in the long run for their brain development. Thanks for reading!

  • Noemi March 20, 2014 Reply

    Great article! My daughter is 11 now, but when she was a baby I liked to use simple toys to teach her. I remember using wooden puzzles, blocks, and an abacus. I found that the abacus was so helpful in teaching colors, patterns, and math. Sure she had some fancy light up toys that helped teach her something’s, but the simple toys were the best. I was a young mother I tried my best to read and teach my daughter things that would help develop her brain and I think it worked! My baby is 11 now and she is such an intelligent girl and does great in school. However, I seriously failed in the bilingual department she learned Spanish eventually, but it could be better. Oh well!

    • themotheroverload March 20, 2014 Reply

      I applaud you for teaching your daughter colors, patterns and math since she was a baby. I’m sure it definitely made a positive impact on your daughters brain development as she is currently doing so well in school and is very intelligent! You must be so proud of her. 😉

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