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.


Have your child look for and name numerals in your home or neighborhood. Encourage her or him to practice writing these numerals as often as possible.

Read counting books with your child. Have her or him count the objects on each page that correspond to each number. Borrow a variety of counting books from your local library and talk about the sets of objects that correspond to a specific number in the different books.

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 objects around the household 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 her or him to choose a book for you to read. Spend time reading to your child on a daily basis.

Recite the alphabet for your child several times during the day. Encourage her or him to repeat it after you. If possible, have an alphabet strip available so your child can see the upper- and lowercase letters frequently.


Take your child on nature walks. Point out plants, animals, and other natural objects. Name them for your child and encourage her or him 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 her or his age outside of 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 are walking in a parking lot. Teach her or him to look around and be aware of vehicles or other things that might be dangerous. Use sidewalks and crosswalks with your child. Point out and explain the use of the “Walk” and “Don't Walk” sign.