We all want what is best for our children. For you and your child, that may mean staying home with your child versus a child care center. If so, you may decide to blend therapies into your daily routines. Or you may want to hold off on that for a while. But since you know your child better than anyone, you can teach her at home using real-life experiences to help her learn. Whether you are starting off on your own or have an army of help from family and community, there are some basic things you can do to make your interactions with your child more meaningful.
If you decide not to pursue Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services yet, you can request an ECI evaluation later whenever you are ready. See DARS Early Childhood Intervention Services for more.
- Play! You are your child’s first playmate. Playing is your child’s work. It is how she learns about the world around her. For more ideas, check out Tips on Playing with Babies and Toddlers
- Talk or sing to your child as you move about the house. If you are doing chores, bring your child into the same room and face her towards you. Talk about what you are doing. Children love to hear their parents’ voices. Read Speak Parentese, Not Baby Talk for tips on how to speak to your baby.
- Create an environment that suits your child's needs and abilities. Encourage movement and exploration. Sit with your child and play together with toys of different sizes and textures.
- Don’t be afraid to get messy. Sensory experiences are all around us. Use daily activities to promote your child’s sensory exploration. Get ideas from Five easy sensory ideas for special needs toddlers.
- Explore and discover. Texas Early Learning Pathways (PDF) illustrates how very early development relates to school readiness with ideas to support your child's development.