By Lana Pinskaya – LearningCandy.com
Research tells us that the most important development time for grandkids occurs between ages 0 and 6 when 90% of a child’s brain is formed. Ages 0 to 3 are especially critical; no time is more important for increasing a child’s intellect and improving her chance of success in school and in life. The key is to maximize her language acquisition and development.
The most important thing you can do for your grandkids is to TALK to them as much as possible. Research proves that no computer program, toy, or TV show can benefit a child more than interaction with a loving family member.
Top Ways to Develop Your Grandchild’s Language Skills
Read as much as possible
In addition to the usual word books, nursery rhymes, and stories for babies, age-appropriate non-fiction and children’s encyclopedias are especially valuable for toddlers. Make reading interactive by asking questions that encourage creative and critical thinking
Use more intentional talk
Basic daily interactions such as “No”, “Come here” and the like are not enough; kids need intentional conversations.. Describe objects you see and actions taking place around you. Nearly every situation provides an opportunity to teach not only standard vocabulary, but also colors, shapes, counting and phonics. You could even choose a “subject of the week,” such as transport or marine animals, and do activities that prompt discussions on that subject.
Sing nursery rhymes
Kids tend to love music and will quickly memorize the words in the nursery rhymes they hear. The key is to sing for and with the child as opposed to turning on nursery rhyme cartoons on the computer or the TV.
Do finger plays and other small motor activities
Small motor activities, including finger plays, stimulate the part of the brain responsible for speech development. You can find a variety of finger plays and activity ideas on the internet or make up your own.
We never get those critical first year of life back. Make the most of them by maximizing language acquisition and development, and set your grandchild on a path to success!
Lana Pinskaya is a mom on a mission to unite families in the cause of getting kids excited about learning and taking active life position. She is the founder of LearningCandy.com (http://www.learningcandy.com), a company offering personalized educational gifts as well as resources and inspiration to help families raise successful kids. LearningCandy donates a portion of sales proceeds to Jumpsart (http://www.jstart.org).