Birth to 3 years
A child’s earliest learning comes to him before the age of 5 years in the environments he is exposed to, which are most often the home and perhaps a day-care centre or pre-school. Obviously then, the more you expose your child to in this period, the more extensive his learning will be. Every time a child is exposed to a new concept, a neural pathway in the brain is created, and the more this neural pathway is activated, the stronger it gets. This stands true for everything a child may be exposed to from hugging and caring to reading and learning.
Very young children can have their reading experience, and thus their neural pathways, expanded and strengthened through the following activities;
- Singing nursery rhymes, songs and lullabies to him
- Reading his favourite stories over and over and over again, particularly those stories with words that repeat
- Give your child books that he can page through by himself without destroying them (board books, cloth books, plastic bath books etc.)
- Showing him easy, bright and interesting picture books. Most picture books are bright and colourful anyway, but try to choose a book that is presented in such a way that they draw the beginner reader into the story and encourage them to want to hear and see more.
- Read or sing action stories and rhymes to your young child, going through the actions with him or simply bouncing him to the rhyme and rhythm.
- Find books that have smells on the pages or different textures that he can touch or even books that have squeakers in them or make other sounds.