Each child grows at a different pace mentally, emotionally and physically. Parents are naturally curious to understand how their child is developing and to help you we’ve worked with esteemed Early Childhood Mental Development Expert, Dr. Lise Eliot, to create a set of Developmental Milestones that you can use as a guideline to help better understand your child’s development and determine which toys and games are appropriate for your child at each unique age and developmental stage.
Language & Cognitive
Language immersion is absolutely key to children's cognitive and emotional development. Children use words to express themselves, but also to learn about the people and world around them. Research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development. At the same time, children learn important concepts through non-verbal play, like building and sorting, and so the combination of verbal and spatial play is very powerful to children's overall development.
Social & Emotional
Relationships are at the core of all human learning. Babies look to their parents' emotions and facial expressions to first learn about the world, and children continue to depend completely on other people to learn language and the rules of social engagement. Peers are an equally important part of the social equation. The fact is, we are a highly social species and the better children learn to read other people's feelings and desires—and to control their own selfish impulses—the easier time they will have learning and befriending others.
Physical & Motor
Children learn through play, and as every exhausted parent knows, their play is extremely physical. Whether it is learning to crawl, or run, or build a brick tower, young children are constantly exercising their gross and fine motor skills, honing the brain pathways for smooth, purposeful movement. The more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies.
Dr. Lise Eliot
Early Brain Development Expert
VTech Expert Panel Member
Dr. Lise Eliot is a neuroscientist and author of "What's Going On In There: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life." The mother of two sons and a daughter, she also recently published the book "Pink Brain, Blue Brain", which examines gender differences and similarities in children's mental and emotional development - and what parents can do to help minimize gender gaps in school achievement. Dr. Eliot lectures widely about brain and gender development to parents, teachers and other early childhood professionals.