Let me say a few words about my blogs first: They will vary in topics and lengths and often end with a question. I would love to hear back and learn from you, so thank you for participating and sharing your experiences and expertise.

If you want to find out more about me, please click here. I’m someone who finds learning interesting and especially so when it comes to little kids and their language.

Building a Strong Foundation Early On

‘The early years are so important’. We hear that everywhere and it is true: Helping young children build a strong foundation early on is important. But what is ‘early’ and ‘how’ to best do so? The first answer is: From birth. Why? Because babies are ready to learn when born. And, the early experiences they have with their parents and other caregivers in the first months and years – so well before kindergarten –shape their future learning and lives.

How to build a strong foundation is more difficult to answer. Our intuitions of hugging, talking, singing, reading and playing with little ones were right on and help young children to learn and grow, brain research tells us. That sounds relatively simple but isn’t quite so simple after all. We know that for infants and toddlers simply hearing a lot of words is not enough, and that flash cards won’t make them into strong readers. And it’s even less obvious how pretending to use the plastic cup as a boat when having a bath, or slipping into different characters and having imaginary friends over for dinner, gives young children an edge in reading, language and math later on. How about learning two languages – when’s a good age to start? Does baby talk help or hinder language learning?

Why is Johnny a poor reader and Tony is not? Is learning in the genes or to what extent to the child’s experiences matter? How much do you know about young children and their learning?

What do you know about young children and their learning?

Take the quiz to find out!

Today we know so much about how babies and young children learn and research has completely changed our understanding of babies.

Babies are not blank slates, nor empty vessels but active builders.

They can see, hear and think when born and a ready to learn with you. Their brains have certain predispositions but the experiences with their caregivers and the world around them shapes their learning. I’d like to end with this:

  • Babies are incredibly smart learners. 
  • Caregivers have the essentials needed to build a strong foundation – their vocal cords, their hands to gesture, and their eyes to tune in, and an amazing portion of love for their baby.
  • Lots of conversations and play times together early on matter. The richer the ‘soil’ you provide, the more opportunities young babies have to learn.

What does ‘building a strong foundation’ mean to you?

What has surprised you about your infant or young child?

Share your experiences with other parents and young children by submitting pictures, videos or stories on Parent Share.

Looking for a resource to more closely tune in to your child and foster learning all around as you build a strong foundation together, check out my new book: Raising A Talker: Easy Activities for Birth to Age 3. Multiple-Award Winner: Winner of the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, Gold Recipient of Mom’s Choice Awards, Gold Recipient of the National Parenting Publication Award.

Click here to find out more about it and read excerpts.

More information – Gryphon House