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The Importance of Play for Children/Toddlers with Unique Learning Needs

Lise Eliot
“Play is the work of the child.” This is the mantra of every child development expert from Montessori to Froebels, the inventor of kindergarten. Through play, children explore their physical and social world, try out new skills, discover their passions and exercise their brains while enjoying a fun activity of their own choosing and on their own terms. Read all ►

Teaching Children to Understand a Healthy Expression of Love

Susan Bartell
Each year, on Valentine’s Day, the expression of love becomes ‘official’ for twenty-four hours. We might not embrace this commercialized view of love, but in reality, it’s important to spend not just one day, but, the entire year teaching your child healthy ways to express love, as well as how to receive it from others. Love and its relatives, respect, empathy and sympathy, are the cornerstone emotions that support your child in becoming an emotionally healthy adult. Children are born with the capacity to feel and express love, but having healthy role models is critical to helping them realize their true potential. Since parents are a child’s most meaningful role model, it’s of great value to consider the messages you convey to your child about love. Here are four questions to ask yourself—each will help you understand whether you are successfully role modeling healthy love to your child. Read all ►

Supporting Struggling or Reluctant Readers

Deborah Sharp Libby
For some children learning to read proves to be especially difficult and they are reluctant to read. In this situation, our goal as parents is to help our struggling or reluctant readers view reading as an enjoyable experience. How do we achieve this goal? Ultimately, we need to immerse our children in daily reading experiences and support their growth and development as readers. Read all ►

Wintertime Classics – Great Books for Kids – Part 2

Deborah Sharp Libby
Foster your child’s interest in reading through “shared book” experiences. Shared book experiences are an interactive time when children sit and enjoy a good book with an adult. During this experience children are encouraged to join in and talk about the story, pointing to illustrations and words, reading along or simply repeating well‐known words or phrases. Reading stories aloud with your child is important to foster your child’s interest and love of reading all while exposing them to important concepts of print such as reading from left to right and building their knowledge of letters and words. When you read the same book to your child multiple times, you’re exposing them to great literature and encouraging independent reading. Check out these books that you can both read over and over again. Read all ►

Keep Your Family Healthy During the Winter

Susan Bartell
As the cheer of holiday season ends, the cold and dreary months ahead can seem long and bleak. Both kids and adults usually feel the urge to retreat to a cozy couch where big and small screens beckon us. We then wait out the winter with hot chocolate and other sugar-laden goodies that trick our brains into feeling happy! While this may be a great time to catch up on TV shows, the dark and cold winter months can trigger feelings of sadness, isolation and loneliness. There is also a tendency to gain weight in the winter (even for young children) since we eat fewer fresh fruit and veggies and we’re less active. Despite this bleak picture, it is possible to ensure your family a happier, healthier winter—by following a few simple suggestions. Read all ►

How Musical Training Can Benefit Your Child’s Development

Lise Eliot
Human beings are naturally musical. Every culture in the world has some form of music, which binds people together, communicates feelings, and brings joy to our shared human experience. The reason music is universal is because it employs many of the same brain circuits as language, which is also why musical training is so beneficial to young children. A child who learns to play a musical instrument is essentially bilingual, having two systems of sound and rhythm for communicating his or her feelings. Read all ►
Meet VTech's Expert Panel
Deborah Sharp Libby
Early Childhood Language and Reading Expert
Lise Eliot
Early Brain Development Expert
Carla C. Johnson
Science and STEM Expert
Francis (Skip) Fennell
Mathematics Expert
Susan Bartell
Child Psychology Expert
VTech Mom
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