At Arm’s Reach
For ages 0 to 1
Encourage your child to move and stretch. Put them on their tummy on a blanket on the floor and place a soft, safe object in front of them saying, "Here’s your soft bear!" Put it down just out of their reach. Talk about their efforts: "You’re working so hard to reach your toy!"
For ages 1 to 3
While outside with your child, invite them to find rocks of different shapes and sizes. When you’ve collected some, test out the sounds they make when dropped on different surfaces. Can they hear a rock on the grass? What about on cement? What does it sound like if they drop several rocks at the same time?
For ages 3 to 5
"Where do you think the saucepan should go? Should we put it with these bowls or with these saucepans?" When they answer, ask them "Why?" or respond with "Interesting" to encourage their thinking about how things work.
For ages 4 to 5
Pick a letter with your child and try to find it everywhere you go. Take turns calling it out when you see it. If they see an apple for the letter A, then you have to find something next. See how many things you can find. Four? Ten? More?
For ages 3 to 5
When you’re on a bus or train, invite your child to pretend the bus can go anywhere. "Where would you like to go?" In a back-and-forth conversation, invite them to describe this place (real or imaginary), and tell you about why they want to go there and who they’ll see.
For ages 2 to 5
Waiting for an appointment with the doctor or dentist? Ask your child what might happen. Will the doctor listen to their heart? Will the dentist look at their teeth? Encourage them to share these predictions, then compare them later with what actually happened—especially focusing on what they did to manage successfully.