Research tells us that about 85% of brain growth happens by 4 years old.
Here are 5 basic principles that you can use to help your children learn before they get to kindergarten
1. Maximize love and minimize stress. Even babies pick up on stress which means parents and caregivers have to take care of themselves too. It is not possible to over love or be too affectionate with young children. Feeling safe has a lasting influence in their development.
2. Talk, sing and point. When you point at something that helps the baby starts to associate words with objects. Providing children from birth to five with consistent, language-rich experiences builds quantity and quality of words that children learn, which directly impacts their opportunities to succeed in school and later on in life.
3. Count group and compare. Babies love numbers and counting and there's research to show they are actually born with a math ability. Conversations like, "Pop is tall but Nana is short" or "There are 2 oranges but only one apple."
4. Explore through movement and play. Play matters because it helps children learn about themselves and the world around them. It also develops physical, social, cognitive and emotional skills. Playing can be described as a natural state that ignites learning and fosters physical and emotional well being.
5. Read and discuss stories. It is never too early to start reading aloud. Even with newborns and babies hearing words increases vocabulary and relating objects to sound starts to create connections in the brain.