Babies repeat sounds they hear and learn about language when you read aloud to them. Click here for booklists!
Give your little one a small ball to squeeze and roll. This builds hand strength for writing when baby grows up.
Count your child's fingers and toes, crackers at snack time, or steps you take walking from room to room in the house to build math skills for school.
Read aloud to your baby in your native language from any book, even cookbooks & textbooks. What matters most is hearing the sounds of spoken language.
Hide a toy in a visible spot, while baby watches. “I’m hiding the toy, can you find it?" When baby finds the toy, choose a new hiding place.
You can help your baby learn language by having quiet time. Turn off the television & music so baby can focus on the sounds they make.
Babies need to be surrounded by books. Keep books in the car, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and wherever baby hangs out during the day.
Bang on pots with spoons. Making noise together is fun! It also trains baby's eyes and hands to work together for eating, drawing, writing.
Build baby’s vocabulary by saying aloud the day's activities. Say “Put on socks” as you help them dress or clap your hands with them & say “clap clap!”
Music is a great way to develop the brain & explore sounds. Every day choose a different place & sing the ABCs to your baby.
As you feed your baby, use words to describe what foods taste, feel and look like. "This yogurt is smooth," "that yellow banana is sweet."
Babies like to put books in their mouths. That’s ok! You can clean a board book with a wipe, let it dry, then let baby have fun.
Put pillows on the floor and encourage baby to crawl around them to you. Use words like "around," "over," and "faster" to build math and language skills.
Hold your baby close during bedtime & sing a favorite song again & again. Singing the same song can help baby feel calm & safe.
Try reading a bilingual board book to baby. Hearing the sounds of a different language will expand their knowledge of conversation, an important skill.
Talk with a calm voice when baby first wakes up. As you change their diaper or feed them a bottle, make eye contact & let them see your happy face.
Place toys/books just out of your baby's reach. When they reach or move toward the items, clap & tell your baby that they did a good job.
The sense of touch is important in brain development. Use your finger to gently draw letters on your baby’s belly, while you say the letter aloud.
Babies love the sound of paper. Build listening and motor skills by helping baby rip up scrap paper. Crinkle into a ball for more fun!
Notice what your child is watching. Say aloud what baby sees so baby learns that everything has a name. “Look at the puppy’s tail wag. He’s happy!”
Build your baby's knowledge of sounds & rhythm in words. Do some knee bounce rhymes. Here are some fun examples.
Babies like to open and close books, hand them to you, or stack them like blocks. This makes books fun and trains baby’s eyes and muscles to work together.
Give your baby a ball to squeeze and roll. This teaches baby how to use their muscles and eyes, which will help later on when they write.
Books with high-contrast pictures & bright bold colors are easier for babies 3 months & up to focus on and see.
Sing any song you can think of, even if it's only part of a song. Whether it's Motown, hip hop, or a new Adele song! Baby will love bonding with your voice.
If bedtime is too late for your baby to listen to a whole book, read aloud anytime during the day--lunchtime, bath time, in line at the store!
Let your baby hold a crayon & write. Say the alphabet while they scribble. Patiently wait while they make the connection between sounds & writing.
Baby can learn new words during bath time. Take turns dropping toys in the water. Say, "watch it sink" or "it floats" or "splash!"
If you go apple picking, talk about the 5 senses. “I hear bees buzzing, see families smiling, smell doughnuts, taste sweet apples, and feel warm sunshine.”
Sing or just hum to your child. They love to hear the sound of your voice & will try to echo your sounds, building connections in the brain.
Talk during bathtime, put some bubbles on different parts of your baby. Say, "Fingers! Toes!" This is a fun way to help baby learn new words.