Older toddlers & preschoolers learn by doing. Children this age are in constant motion as they develop language & play skills. The emergence of imaginative play & interactive, collaborative play comes to life in preschoolers. Start building your preschooler’s toy collection with these 14 must-have toys, and you will be well on your way to supporting the development of critical early language & play skills.
It happens every day. Parents wait and wait for those first words, but they just don’t come. Other times, a child is already using words to communicate but parents have questions about whether or not their child’s skills are developing at a typical pace. After some time passes, parents may visit a pediatrician to share concerns about their child’s communication skills but are told to “wait and see” if their child will “outgrow” the problem.
Another child’s difficulties with communication may not become evident until after he or she begins school. Maybe your child’s teacher notices that he is having some difficulty in the classroom. He doesn’t seem to follow simple directions, answer questions when asked, or interact with his peers in the same way other children do. Unfortunately, more often than not, weeks or months may pass before a referral is made, a screening & evaluation is completed by a speech-language pathologist, and a child receives the intervention & support he or she needs. These are common scenarios that happen all too often.
Of course giving parents advice to build language by reading to their child goes without saying. Or, does it? For many families, fall is the busiest time of the year. When life & school get busy it’s amazingly easy to forget to stop, find a quiet spot, sit down, and read.
Reading aloud is not only a great way to reconnect after a long day, it is one of the best ways to naturally facilitate early literacy, language, & cognitive skills in a way that simply cannot be recreated by a TV, iPad, or any other learning toy on the market. Tap into your child’s natural curiosity about the changing leaves & the pumpkins on display at every store in town and check out these fabulous books for fall at your local library or bookstore. Or read whatever interests your child at the moment. Just remember to read with your child. Every. Single. Day.