Tips for Developing the Whole Child

These simple tips can help you work on many areas of development that will help your child become a well-rounded person. They also help extend your child's learning at home. You can find additional suggestions in the other themes.

Literacy and Language Development

Encourage a literacy-rich environment in your home. Dedicate a specific area of your home to books and other printed materials, such as magazines and newspapers. Add labels to household items and talk about the labels with your child.

Go to your local library and borrow books to read with your child and the rest of the household. Encourage your child to choose a book for you to read, and spend time reading together on a daily basis.

Recite the alphabet several times during the day, encouraging your child to repeat it after you. If possible, have an alphabet strip available so your child can see the capital and lowercase letters frequently.


Take your child on nature walks. Point out plants, animals, and other natural objects. Name them and encourage your child to describe them. Talk about how these plants and animals change and move, or how they stay the same, as in the case of rocks.

Social/Emotional Development

Give your child many opportunities to interact with other children of the same age outside the school setting. Encourage them to play together and to share and take turns with toys and games.

Health and Safety

Hold your child's hand when you're crossing the street or walking in a parking lot. Teach the importance of looking around and being aware of vehicles or other dangers. Use sidewalks and crosswalks with your child. Point out and explain the “Walk” and “Don't Walk” signs.