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Mom and daughter reading and learning.

The Basics: A Great Start to Life

I spent a day with my 19-month-old grandson last week. He was oh-so-busy: walking, running, climbing, dancing, playing, cuddling, talking, clapping, singing, tasting everything, and sharing his emotions in big ways! Watching him experience and discover the world gives new life to even the simplest activities. We took a walk through puddles after the rain stopped, and we ate a piece of watermelon. What fun! On the other end of the feeling continuum was frustration. He let me know he was frustrated when I would not let him eat a rock, or tear the page out of a book. So much to learn and teach.

While I was spending time with my grandson, I kept thinking about a new local campaign called The Basics Hampton Roads. CHKD has recently joined other early childhood organizations in Hampton Roads to promote The Basics. The Basics, originally developed at Harvard University, are five simple, fun, and powerful ways for parents and providers to interact with babies and toddlers to ensure that they are learning, growing, and thriving. Did you know that 80% of brain growth happens in the first three years of life?

In order to provide an optimal learning environment for babies and toddlers, The Basics encourages parents and providers to do these five things daily:

  1. Maximize love, manage stress.
  2. Count, group, and compare.
  3. Talk, sing, and point.
  4. Explore through movement and play.
  5. Read and discuss stories.

Engaging in these activities builds a strong foundation for social and emotional development, and builds the brain architecture for math, language, and reading. Exploring through movement and play is my grandson’s favorite. He loves to see what his body can do. Pushing, pulling, jumping, or dancing – he is in! Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or provider for young children, these activities will help you enjoy your time with your little one and will give you the added benefit of knowing you are getting your baby off to a great start in life.

Check out The Basics Hampton Roads on our website for more information, short videos, and printable flyers. Be sure to register and attend our CHKD Community Connections webinar, The Basics, on August 5, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. A CHKD speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, and parent educator will be providing a more detailed description of The Basics in this interactive webinar.

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About Michele Tryon, CCLS

About Michele  Tryon, CCLS Michele Tryon, CHKD community outreach coordinator and parent educator has worked with children and families for 30 years, providing services in the hospital, home, school and community setting. Michele is a Certified Child Life Specialist, a Certified Positive Discipline™ parent educator, a nationally recognized trainer/consultant for Nurturing Parenting Programs™ and co-author of The Nurturing Program for Parents and Their Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges©.