Dear Monti Kids Families,
September is all about ‘back to school’ for big kids, so I wanted to share some best practices for how we can give our little ones the best start to their education. Research shows 85% of the brain is formed by age three and brain development is cumulative. High-quality infant toddler education sets children up for success in school and life.
Here are some key tips, drawn from decades of research:
Talking to babies a lot is one of the healthiest things you can do for their brains. Read, sing, use rich vocabulary and varied sentence structure, use words in context of their experience and speak with emotion just as we do with adults. Have fun by playing with words in rhymes and silly songs. Interestingly, babies receive the benefits of language exposure only when it comes from human interaction and not from a screen. Teaching babies and young toddlers how to recognize letters is actually not beneficial. The best thing you can do to support their literacy skills at this age is to immerse them in rich spoken language and to share a love of books.
Babies need opportunities for movement, which means lots of time playing freely on the floor. This is not just to improve their motor skills and sports prospects but because for babies, movement and cognition are fundamentally intertwined. As much as possible, limit time in bouncy seats, exercausers, and enclosed playpens. Of course, when a parent needs to shower, these things are a lifesaver – but whenever there is a choice, choose to place baby on a large play mat on the floor.
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Why do babies need a variety of rattles? . A variety of rattles keeps a baby engaged in practicing the very important task of grasping 🖐 and makes sure they’re exercising their hands in different ways. . When a baby gains control and mastery of their hands, they have the fine motor coordination needed to explore and learn about their world.🌎 . Many preschoolers struggle with writing ✍️ not because of the cognitive challenge, but because they have not developed the fine motor skills to properly handle a pencil. . Despite the photo, I recommend playing with one rattle at a time since this helps to build your baby’s focus 👀 and concentration 🧠 . #montikids #montessori #parenting #finemotorskills
We know that babies learn best through play but not just any play – guided, open-ended play with traditional toys is best. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests to avoid both electronic toys with lights and music as well as screens for children younger than 18-24 months old except for video chats with family and friends. Babies have an innate mathematical sense so playing with blocks and similar toys helps boost their mathematical understanding. Add some spatial language into play time (describing the shapes, locations and relationships between blocks) to improve your child’s spatial skills for the future.
At Monti Kids, our mission is to empower parents to give their babies the very best start to their education during the most formative years of life. If there’s anything we can do to support you in this effort, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
P.S. Read related topics written by the Monti Kids Learning Team to support you and your child.
How to Encourage Language Development
6 Montessori Ways to Read to Your Baby
How Montessori Can Help Baby’s Development