Reading on Early Learning and Development

Early Learning - Babies and Toddlers

General Development

10 Easy Early Learning Activities for Babies and Toddlers by Dr. Robert Titzer, a prominent professor and infant researcher. 
Dr. Robert Titzer gives 10 practical and research supported strategies on encouraging early learning and development in infants.

Development of Language

Encouraging Language Development by Nicole Munoz. 
Language and speech are primarily learned through imitation and observation. During infancy, babies listen to their parents talk and they pay close attention when someone talks to them. This observation of casual conversation is the foundation for a child's understanding of their native language.

Reading with Your Child by Kirsty Newbury. 
Why is reading with your child so important? It provides a rewarding experience for both of you as your child develops reading skills such as: picture recognition, naming of familiar pictures, increased listening skills and the beginnings of “story telling” (re-reading the story to an adult after it has been read to them, often over and over again!!!). Books encourage closeness, quiet time and lots and lots of learning!

Water Play

Fun and Educational Ways of Playing with Water by Slava Prakhiy. 
Games with water are so much fun! But can babies and toddlers actually learn while they playing? The answer is absolutely. Here are some exciting and easy things you can do with that wonderful and educational toy called Water.

Fine Motor Skills

Fun and Educational Activities to Encourage Fine Motor Skills Development by Slava Prakhiy. 
Mastering how to use their hands is one of the most important things your baby or toddler will be learning in the next few years of their life. But while they are learning how to hold and manipulate objects other very important brain functions, like language, are also developing. You can help your child build strength and dexterity in their hands by playing some fun and easy games with them and doing some simple exercises.

Various Activities for Babies Under 12 Months

Creative Play for Babies - Newborn to 6 Months by Dawn Arkin. 
New parents are bombarded with information about raising children. What diapers to use, whether to breast feed, and how to make their babies smarter. Millions of dollars are spend every year on products designed to make their child smarter and more alert. But nothing matches parental interaction for helping a child grow and learn.

Creative Play for Babies - 7 to 12 Months by Dawn Arkin. 
As any parent can tell you, babies grow at a rapid pace. Their first year of life is spent discovering and learning about the world around them. They learn to do so much during this first year; from rolling over and sitting to crawling and walking. So many new and wonderful connections are made during the first year.

Various Activities for Toddlers Between 12 and 24 Months

Developing Coordination, Dexterity and Gross Motor Skills - Activities For Toddlers 12 to 24 Months
by Slava Prakhiy
Between the ages of 12 and 24 months a toddler is usually mastering the art of controlling one's body. They are learning how to stand, walk and run, how to grab, hold and manipulate objects and how to orient themselves in their environment. The early learning games and activities listed below will help kids develop and improve those skills in fun and playful ways.

Creative and Pretend Play

Imaginative Play - Benefits of Pretend Play for Child's Development, Games, Scenarios, Ideas by Slava Prakhiy. 
Imaginative or pretend play is crucial for child's social and brain development and it is absolutely essential for parents to provide open-ended play opportunities for their kids where they can imagine and pretend to their heart's content. In this article you will find many various suggestions of play scenarios - these ideas can give you a platform for making up your own fun and interesting games.

Fun with Travel and Vehicles by Elaine Lambe
How are you traveling on your holidays? Are you going by car, boat, foot, bike, train or even plane? Here are some activity ideas based round vehicles to help you think about and prepare your children for their journeys. Instructions on how to make toy vehicles and lots of other creative play ideas for kids who love transport.

The Benefits of Boredom by Emma Ranie 
What would happen if you did not plan any activities for your kids during the holidays? Left to their own devices would they get bored or would they eventually find ways of creating their own play? An excellent article from the The Sydney's Child on the benefits of sometimes letting kids be bored.

Music

Building Baby's Brain: The Role of Music by Diane Bales, Ph.D
"Researchers believe that musical training actually creates new pathways in the brain". Diane Bales discusses research into the effects of classical music on brain development and suggests ways parents and carers can encourage the love of music in young children.

Early Learning - Preschoolers

Counting and Maths

Cuisenaire Rods: Space, Color and Mathematics by Carolyn True Ito, T/TAC - Eastern Virginia
Some wonderful ideas on the use of Cuisenaire Rods with children for teaching mathematics in an unconventional, abstract ways. Particularly useful for kids who are having difficulties grasping mathematical concepts.

Early Learning - Methods and Practices

Montessori

Montessori Method from Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence, Apr 06, 2001
This comprehensive article describes how the Montessori method was founded by Maria Montessori, theories behind it, talks about Montessori development periods called "planes", explains what "sensitive periods" are, describes how children work in a Montessori classroom and how their motivation differs from stundents in a regular classroom. A great informational source for those who would like to gain a bit of understanding about the Montessori Method of education.

Montessori School Method of Education by Denise Underwood
The article describes Montessori method of education, how a montessori classroom is organised and how montessori lessons are structured.

Gifted and Talented Children

Why gifted kids often fall by the wayside - Classroom 'nerds' often turn out to be stars of the school when placed in classes for the gifted and talented. Jenny Tabakoff meets those in charge.

Parenting Strategies and Issues

Five reasons to stop saying 'good job' - An excellent, thought provoking article on using praise in parenting. Written by Alfie Kohn - an author and specialist on topics such as human behaviour, education and parenting.

Raising Bilingual Children

Speech Development and Support Strategies for Bilingual Children - by Jane Druganova, Bicultural Support Teacher via BSP Community services central. This article will offer some tips and strategies on helping bilingual children with language development at home and in a childcare setting.

ADHD

ADHD Riddle Solved - New data peg the brain disorder to a delay in development, not a complete deviation from it. By Julie Rawe

Autism and Asperger's

A Life Apart - As a child Tim Page was mad about maps, music and silent movies. But he was a failure at pretty much everything else. A midlife diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome helped make sense of it all. by Tim Page