How to Engage Babies in Play

Babies’ malleable brains learn about their world at a fast pace, and it’s up to parents and nannies to encourage this learning through developmentally appropriate games. But what games are appropriate for babies? Read on for some ideas.

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How to Encourage Developmentally Appropriate Play

When play is developmentally appropriate, a child builds self-esteem, an internal sense of mastery, and gains the confidence to move forward to other games—and in life.

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The Six Types of Play: Stage by Stage

Children learn about themselves and the world around them through one of the six distinct stages of play. Read our blog to find out more.

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Why is Play Important for Children?

According to David Elkind, PhD, play is a fundamental mode of learning for young children, and parents should strive to ensure their children have ample time to get caught up in their own little worlds.

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Child Development for Ages 0-6

Calling all Nannies! Join us in 2018 for an important workshop about child development.

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5 of Our Favorite Audiobooks for Toddlers

Whether you’re taking a long car trip or trying to begin a daily quiet time routine, these fun and age appropriate audiobooks will get your child’s imagination (and their language skills) buzzing.

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You’re Invited: The Institute for Families and Nannies 2018 workshop for Nannies will discuss literacy and child development

Calling all Nannies! Join Chirp this Sunday, October 4th from 10:00 a.m. to noon for a workshop about literacy, language and child development.

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How Background Noise Affects Your Child

As adults, we hear background noise all day. It’s not unusual to hear the constant buzz of our co-workers chatting, or the TV or radio blaring from another room. Most of us have learned to tune this noise out and we go through our lives without even hearing it. But noise pollution has become a buzzword in today’s hectic society, and the truth is that it may be impacting the central auditory processing of young children who are still acquiring language skills.

A recent study published by Ear and Hearing, The Official Journal of the American Auditory Society, and conducted by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc., suggests multiple effects of background noise on toddlers. It states that background noise “modulates the early stages of sound encoding and dampens neural discrimination vital for accurate speech perception.” What this means is that toddlers who spend long hours in noisy conditions may have more trouble pronouncing words correctly.

The test was conducted on 18 toddlers between the ages of 22 and 26 months, all monolingual and with healthy ears. Perhaps not surprisingly, the children exposed to the noisy conditions were more likely to mispronounce words and syllables.

The study suggests that parents pay close attention to acoustic conditions and background noise levels in children’s daily environments. Be aware of the volume of TVs or radios in the other room when your toddler is present, and encourage your child to have quiet time every day. In today’s modern society, silence can be difficult to achieve, but a little less noise in your child’s every day life may be just what the doctor ordered.

Read more about this fascinating study here.

6 Reasons To Take Your Child to Library Story-Time

Not only does story-time at the public library encourage literacy and instill a love of reading from a young age, it helps children develop focus, improve vocabulary and listening skills, and so much more. Have you talked to your Nanny about taking your child to story-time?

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Nature, Nurture and Brain Development: Why Choosing a Nanny is So Important

Depending on your specific situation, your nanny or other caregiver may be one of the important adults that your child spends meaningful time with during their waking hours. This is when the “nurture” side of the development coin comes into play. A nanny who is attentive to your child is vital of course, but hiring a person who is also attuned to your child’s developmental needs and idiosyncrasies will help “nurture” what “nature” has given.

The Zero to Three National Center gives this example: Everyone is born with the potential to learn language. The “nature” side means that the brain is programmed to recognize speech, to pick up subtle differences between sounds, and the like. But it’s the social environment, or “nurture,” that the child is raised in that determines which language will be learned, the size of the child’s vocabulary and the dialect and accent the child will adopt.

Your child’s brain is ultra-malleable, and constantly in relation with the world around them. It’s up to you to ensure that the caregiver you introduce into your child’s early life is able to provide an nurturing and attentive experience to enhance what they’ve already been given by nature.

To read more about how nannies and parents can work together to enhance brain development in young children, click here.

Photo Credit: Travis Swan/flickr