Explore the PBS Parents Child Development Tracker
PBS Parents offers a wealth of information, including a child development tracker, parenting tips and advice from experts and age-appropriate activities for your child.
Your infant loves to interact with you and be close to you! The more you interact with your child, the better! While you interact with your baby, have a book in hand. Allow babies to chew on or play with books — you don’t even have to read them to encourage early literacy skills.
Encourage your infant to communicate by responding to her sounds, verbalizations, and body language. You can say, “Hello, there!” when your child coos, or “Are you waving at me?” when your baby moves her arm or hand. You are building your child’s brain by doing this! Anytime is learning time.
Toddlers love nature! Help your toddler describe what they see, hear, and experience in the natural world. Pay attention to where you child is looking and name what you see to keep baby’s attention and build vocabulary and early literacy skills.
Give toys and objects to your older infant that make noise. Create opportunities to make and listen to different sounds together, like banging on pots and pans or stepping on leaves to hear the crunch sound. Making sounds together creates opportunities for your child to listen and develop attention skills. Anytime is learning time.
Have discussions about books with your toddler to help build their understanding. Ask them about different characters or objects in a book during one-on-one reading. Talk to your baby any time you are together.
Help your toddler learn to sort! Provide socks, cups, or plastic lids, or even food of similar colors and shapes and show how to sort them into groups. Sorting is a good math literacy foundation skill.
Take notice of your preschooler’s interest in the natural world and call attention to details of nature. Use a magnifying glass to help them focus on details of rocks, leaves, etc. This activity helps build vocabulary and early literacy skills.
Help your children develop a love of reading. Let them read books that interest them. Don’t worry about level of difficulty. Look for Caldecott medal winners. Caldecott medals are awarded for illustrated picture books. Or, look for Newbury medal winners. Newbery medals are awarded to authors of children’s literature.