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English & Language Arts

When your baby begins to respond to your voice, there’s no better feeling in the world!

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And as her little brain develops with astounding speed, you will hear her “baby talk” more frequently and consistently. She follows your lead by offering smiles, coos and shrieks of delight. And she even tries to answer you with her own early sounds. Be sure to encourage her speech by talking with her and mimicking her early sounds and words back to her.

Your Baby

As she continues to grow, she’ll love looking at books and reacting to the music with both her voice and body. Dance party, anyone? She’ll also begin to use common words like “baba” when you hand her a ball. Give her a crayon, and she’ll make the first marks that will eventually lead to writing. She might even try to tell her own story through first babbles, facial expressions and body movements. Listen closely! That story is sure to be one of your favorites.

  • I Am Aware of My Surroundings

    Your baby recognizes and responds to the most important people in his life. And that, of course, includes you! Watch how he reacts when you walk into a room. Whether it’s with a happy shriek, an ear-to-ear smile or a full-body wiggle, he lets you know how important you are. And when you talk, read or sing to him, he tries his best to participate. What he’s communicating is this: I see you, I hear you, I know you…and whatever you do, I want to do it with you!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    “Peek-a-boo, I see you!” Interactions between babies and teachers are important. Little ones watch and listen to adults to learn about communication. Make you’re your baby’s space is filled with lots of positive verbal give and take — and lots of opportunities to learn new words!

    Learn more about ideas to learn and play together below.

  • I Want to Tell You a Story

    Storytelling is an ancient art, and your baby is ready to participate. Have you noticed how she uses her face to convey her feelings? That toothless grin in response to your smile? The furrowed brows that come right before the tears? She is interested in hearing familiar stories, books and songs. As she grows, she responds when you speak or play them. She is actively engaged with you and her surroundings by listening and sharing her emotions. She is telling you her story.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Watch as a baby pick up a book and head toward a caregiver. They should be happy and confident that their books will be shared. You might see a teacher enjoying songs and rhymes one-on-one or with a few friends. Little ones love rhythms and rhymes and reading — make sure your baby’s classroom has lots of those opportunities!

    Learn more about ideas to learn and play together below.

  • My Wiggles and Squiggles Have Meaning

    Although your baby isn’t yet ready to write the great American novel, he expresses his early writing skills in various ways. When he makes marks with a crayon, he’s beginning to understand the connection between his actions and their impact on his physical world. Watch him communicate his joy with his face and body when he sees what his tiny hands can produce on paper. A masterpiece, indeed!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” Do you see tiny baby hands pointing at the brown bear? A good teacher helps her tiniest students recognize words as she says them. Little developing minds are ready to learn!

    Learn more about ideas to learn and play together below.

Ideas to Learn and Play Together!

From bedtime to playtime your child is always learning. Check out these family-time ideas for building their skills -- and your family connections. All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.

  • Tell Me

    When your child coos and babbles, pause waiting until she is “done,” then respond with a comment or sentence of your choice. By treating baby sounds as conversation, you are building language skills and self-confidence in one easy step.

  • Sing It

    Sing songs that allow you to add your child’s name it in. “This is the way we put on Braxton’s — put on Braxton’s socks — put on Braxton’s socks so early in the morning!” Hearing music and name combined gives your little one a sense of who they are, and it can make routines a joy (or less of a struggle).

  • All Day — Everyday

    Start talking to your sweet one the minute he is born. Talk about the world around him. And describe what you are doing. “We are going to take off that wet diaper. First, we will lay you on the changing table. Then, I will kiss that precious face…”

  • Rhyme It!

    Adding nursery rhymes to your daily routine kicks off your baby’s language journey in a fun way. Diaper changes are a great time to add a song or two. Include hand and arm movements while saying your rhyme. “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man! Bake me a cake as fast as you can. Roll it, pat it, mark it with a “B” and put it in the oven for baby and me!” You can even mix it up. Maybe next time, you clap your little one’s toes together, instead of her hands?!

  • What a Face

    Make funny faces! Sit your baby on your lap in front of a mirror and make silly faces. “Look at that smiley face!” This is a great way for your child to begin the process of understanding emotions. As they watch your face and hear your words, they learn to read facial expressions!

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