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

Using a variety of props and household items, act out stories or events with your child. Create dialogue to go with your dramatization. Encourage your child to speak in complete sentences and to use the correct verb tense.

Have your child listen to and identify environmental sounds. Encourage your child to listen attentively during road trips around the neighborhood or during field trips to various places, such as the zoo. Ask her or him to name and identify the different sounds he or she hears.


Encourage your child to observe, reproduce, and create patterns with objects, sounds, and movements. If necessary, create a pattern using colored blocks and discuss the pattern with your child. Encourage her or him to continue the pattern using more colored blocks.

Social/Emotional Development

Foster a safe and comfortable environment in your home by encouraging everyone to freely express feelings and opinions. If your child is sad, for example, discuss what caused this feeling and talk about what he or she can do to feel better. Be sensitive to your child's needs and feelings.


Expose your child to technology, such as computers and television, in a controlled and purposeful way. Technology can be highly instructional if used correctly. For example, have your child practice the letters of the alphabet by typing them on a computer or by using language- or literacy-related CD-ROMs.