My whole life, I have been a big reader. I remember loving all of the Babysitter Club books and could never get enough of them. As an adult, I still love reading and wanted to pass that love onto my kids. Even when my 3 kids were babies, I would read little books to them. We would go every week to the library and check out books for me to read to them, until they got old enough to read on their own. Even now, my kids know that every night, after the wi-fi turns off, it’s reading time. At 16, 12 & 7, they sometimes complain about it but there is really nothing better than hearing them ask for 15 minutes of reading because they just got to a great part in their book.
Reading to kids is a really important activity to do, right alongside talking & singing to them. Did you know that 90% of a child’s brain develops in the first 5 years of life? When you really think about that statistic, it’s a little frightening, right? But here’s the thing, it really doesn’t have to be. There are so many things that you can do in your every day life that will help with your child’s brain development.
First 5 California is a great resource to learn about activities for newborns, babies, toddlers and preschoolers. They even have an entire Activity Center showing things that parents can do to help stimulate their child’s mind!
My 5 Favorite Activities from First 5 California
- When you head on over to the Activity Center, head to the Video + Downloads section. There you will find a story that you can print out called “Potter, Potter, The Healthy Otter. It’s a fun story to read (it’s in English and Spanish) and your kids will love the colorful, fun illustrations/
- Make Your Own Music. Under the Babies sections, you can find Make Your Own Music. What child doesn’t love making their own instruments and making music?
- Also under the Babies section, you’ll find Build Up and Topple Down. Babies LOVE building things and knocking them down (I think everyone loves doing this!)
- Under the Toddlers section, you’ll be able to find Dance Time. Who doesn’t like dance time (in the privacy of my own home, thank you!). Dance to nursery rhymes or fun songs that will get them thinking.
- For preschoolers, I love the My Alphabet House activity. My youngest son always loved finding words that started with a certain level of the alphabet. Really gets the kid’s thinking and talking to you as well!