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.


Use time words when you're having conversations with your child. For example, say: It's seven thirty. It's time to go to bed. Tomorrow morning we're going to the playground to play. Encourage your child to use time words. He or she can start by using general time words, such as today, tomorrow, yesterday and then move on to a specific time of day (morning, afternoon, night) or hour (eight o'clock) depending on her or his ability.

Literacy and Language Development

Encourage your child to ask questions and be curious. Also, avoid asking your child questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, such as Did you see a cat? Instead, pose open-ended questions, such as What did you see? or What animal did you see?

Read nursery rhymes and sing rhyming songs. Point out the rhyming words. Encourage your child to repeat some of the rhymes or to think of other words that rhyme with the rhyming words.

Social Studies

Talk with your child about your immediate and extended family and their history. If possible, encourage frequent interactions between your child and members of your family of different ages. You can also show her or him photographs or family memorabilia and talk about them.

Have your child interact with and learn from members of your community. For example, as you walk around your neighborhood or town with your child, greet people who work in the community, such as mail delivery people and store owners.