A Great Start in Life Starts with You!
In the first years of life, your child’s brain develops faster than at any other stage. They are forming hundreds of new brain connections every second. It’s partly what they’re born with, but their family life and experiences are also important for healthy brain growth.
During this time, the simple things you do together each day can have an enormous impact. Talk, sing, read and play with them every day. These simple things can help your child get off to a flying start.
Talk – Lots of talking in the early years builds your child’s language and communication skills.
•• Start early. Your baby may be too young to use words, but they’ll learn from you if you respond to their sounds and actions with lots of talking.
•• Talk about what you do, what you see around you and what interests your child.
•• Point out street signs, posters or labels when out and about.
Sing – Babies and children love music, singing and action rhymes.
•• Sing throughout the day, at bath time, at bedtime or to calm your child.
•• Sing or play music in the car and encourage your child to sing along with you.
•• Join in a free Rhyme Time session and check out children’s music and books at your local library.
Read – It’s never too early to share books.
•• Books don’t have to be read word for word, start to finish. Things, like talking about the pictures, guessing what will happen next and making up your own endings, all help children learn and be more involved.
•• Keep books down low where children can grab them and pack 23a few for outings. They are great to pull out when you’re waiting for appointments, your bus or a coffee.
Play – Playing with your child is a fun way to develop their skills and knowledge.
•• You don’t need the latest toys or educational apps; your child just needs you.
•• Play and explore outside and talk about what you see.
•• At the park, push the swing from the front so your child can see you and your expressions and you can talk together.
For fun, free, family-friendly activities and resources to help make the most of your child’s first five years, visit your local Cairns Library.
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