To many people, babies and toddlers just seem like cute and entertaining fat rolls. They grab whatever they can get their hands on, stick everything in their mouths, and tumble around the house. You may think that they won’t learn a thing until they are a few years old. You may think that you have to teach them slowly for them to learn, and that they are not taking any information in.
But in reality, your little ones are absorbing a lot of information and learning a lot about the world within the first year of their life. Starting at about two months, your baby will start to understand different things begin to learn. And, according to Understood, from the time of their birth until they reach about five years old, their brain is growing faster than it will at any other time of their life.
This is why an early childhood education and childhood development is so important at an early age. They learn and grow so much in these first few years, shaping who they will become and effecting how they interact with the world and others. Your child’s early development can help them throughout their entire lives, and making sure they develop all of the important skills is important.
To get your kiddos the right developmental education by enrolling them at Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center. We have locations in Plymouth, Minnetonka, and Maple Grove with a caring and nurturing staff that can help your children develop, grow, and learn. We help children with discovery and help them to develop cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills.
At Yellow Brick Road, we can help your children explore and interact with the world, allowing them to make the critical developments. Your little ones take in a lot more than you may think, they observe, absorb, and understand many different things everyday. We can help make sure they learn from those observations and develop different skills.
To understand the importance of early childhood education and development, we are going to go over a few of the many things they learn from birth to the age of five. Keep reading this blog to learn a little something about what your children learn at a young age.
The First Year
While your baby may seem as though they just stare off into space, they are actually learning from what they observe. While your baby won’t learn how to talk or read within the first few years, they do learn a lot more than it appears. But babies also develop and learn at their own pace, the following ages may differ baby to baby. According to The Urban Child Institute, your child’s brain will double in size during the first year. Most of this growth will develop in the cerebellum, a part of the brain that is in charge of motor skills and physical development. In the first year of life, babies learn how to hold up their heads, roll over, stand up, and grasp objects. While these may seem like insignificant developments, we would struggle through life without them. The visual cortex and limbic structure also grow during the first year, helping babies see, recognize objects, control emotions, and develop long-term memory.
A Parents article discusses the different developments and skills babies learn month by month. One study found that at the age of two months, babies began to understand cause and effect. Babies would kick their legs more when that movement made a mobile hanging above them spin. This study suggested that babies understood that their kicking meant the mobile would move. This cause and effect was similar with other toys that light up or made sounds with interaction. It is also around this time when little ones will begin to learn cause and effect by watching their parents reactions to the sounds, facial expressions, and gestures they make.
Three and Four Months
The Parents article mentioned that at three months a baby will begin to react to words. A study took two groups of 3-month-olds and showed them pictures of dinosaurs and fish. Some of the babies heard spoken words while being shown these pictures while others heard computerized tones. The children who heard actual words paid more attentions than those who heard tones. This is why it is so important to talk to your baby, name objects, and describe different things to them even at a young age.
At four months, babies begin to recognize their own name. They are able to pick their name out of a long sentence, which is a big milestone for a few reasons. It shows that they are able to discern sounds, they are focused enough to pick out those sounds, and that they have good hearing. The Parents article, stated that parents can help with this by using their name whenever talking to them. This is the word they most likely hear the most, so they are most likely to recognize it first.
When your kiddo hits six months, they begin to understand different social ques and become more socially aware. They can tell the difference between an adult unable to do something and unwilling to do something. In a study, an adult handed the babies a toy. They could tell when an adult was truly unable to hand it to them or if they were just unwilling and they would react differently to each. They can also sense when you are distracted when interacting with them or if you are fully there, so make sure you give them genuine responses.
Nine to 12 Months
Between nine and 12 months, your kiddos will begin to use gestures to try and communicate different things. They will point and make gestures, showing that they are on a new level of awareness and want to be able to communicate with you. Start using more words and descriptors as you communicate through their gestures. If the point at a toy they want, ask them if they want the toy, using different words to describe it and hand it to them. This will help them pick up on more words and figure out that their gestures mean certain things to you.
At about 12 months, your little one will be able to start using basic words. You baby will begin to attempt to talk and say the words that she knows and hears you say over and over, which is why moms constantly repeat “mom” or “mama” to their babies in hopes that this will be their first word. Encourage their attempts to speak and work with them on naming items, making sounds, and forming words.
The first year of a child’s life is full of observing, learning, and understanding. They will develop and grow, learn to recognize words and faces, figure out how to move and gesture, and learn who you are. From this point to the time they are five, your child will learn a ton more. In the Understood article linked above, they cover all of the developmental skill your child should learn by the age of five!
Once your baby begins speaking a few words, they become toddlers. By the age of two, toddlers should be able to use two to three word sentences to tell you what they want or need. They can understand different words and know the name of themselves and other objects. The article states that by age two, kids should know about 250 words. Children should be able to answer simple questions as well. When your toddler says “no”, it is a good sign, showing that they are beginning to think for themselves. As your toddlers get older, they will be able to talk in longer sentences, tell stories, and answer more complex questions. Exposing your child to language can help with their development. This can be done through books, games, and even just listening to conversations.
Once your baby becomes mobile, they become a toddler. They will start standing more and slowly learn how to walk. As they grow and develop more physical skills, they will gain more balance, be able to walk a longer distance, and slowly learn to run. They will develop the skills to climb, jump, hold items while walking, bend over, and move with more ease and confidence. They will also develop fine motor skills, like coloring with crayons, using forks, spoons, and other small items. By the time your kiddos hits five years, they should be pretty well-coordinated and able to use many different objects. This includes everything from riding a tricycle to cutting with scissors. Helping your child use these things as often as possible will help them to develop these fine motor and physical skills even more.
Social and Emotional Development
Once your child develops language skills better, they will be able to have better social interaction and begin to develop their social skills. The social and emotional development in children are related. The more social experiences and interactions they have, the more they will be able to understand emotions and how to properly react to those emotions. Kids will be able to explain their emotions and what they are feeling, which will allow them to explain why they reacted in a certain way. Some of the social and emotional skills your child should develop by age five include patients, how to make friends, how to follow rules, how to deal with conflict, and how to be empathetic.
Many of the thinking skills that children develop in their early years come from playing. Solo play help youngsters to learn cause and effect, how to categorize items, and allows them to think about what they can control and what they cannot. As kids get older, they play with others and develop different thinking and communication skills.
These are the skills that your child will develop early in their life and carry with them for the rest of their lives, this is why early childhood development is such an important thing. Helping your child develop will help them learn and grow faster. Yellow Brick Road can also help, enroll your child today and learn more about our school!