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 play with, or be exposed to, two- and three-dimensional forms and shapes. Name the forms and shapes with your child. Give your child many opportunities to draw, color, cut, and glue the forms and shapes.

Literacy and Language Development

Give your child simple directions at different times of the day. Start with two or three directions and then add more. Always encourage your child to follow the directions in order. You can also have your child give directions for you or both of you to follow.

Encourage your child to speak in complete sentences. When your child leaves out part of the sentence, ask her or him a question about the missing information. Also, encourage your child to use the correct tense when speaking. If your child uses the incorrect tense, restate the sentence using the correct tense so your child hears the correct verb tense. Encourage your child to repeat the correct sentence or verb tense after you.

Health and Safety

Teach your child her or his first and last names. Refer to your child by her or his first name, instead of a nickname, as often as you can. Also, teach your child your home address and phone number. Display this information in a prominent place in your home so your child can see it. Write the information with your child on a regular basis as he or she becomes more familiar with numbers and letters.

Physical Development

Encourage your child to be active. Play movement activities with your child, such as Red Rover, jump rope, or catch. Encourage her or him to participate in sports at school or in your neighborhood or community.