Choosing the right books for your little one!

Taking a couple of minutes a day to read with your baby will dramatically increase his or her language skills. Not only that, but reading time is a great bonding activity that will strengthen the emotional ties between you and your little one. Plus, adding reading to your daily routine will increase the odds of your child enjoying reading and becoming a reader herself.

It’s important to find the right book, keeping in mind that it fits your child’s interests, maturity, and reading level. Here are some basic things to look out for.

Infants and toddlers (birth – age 2)

  • Look for books with big and colorful pictures of familiar objects.
  • They should be written in short, simple sentences and may include rhymes that are fun to read aloud and easy for your little one to eventually imitate.
  • Go for thick cardboard, plastic or cloth books. These are usually perfect for small children to handle and experiment with (and they’ll survive it because they can easily be wiped clean).
  • Think tactile – stimulate your child’s senses with books with different textures or scents.
  • Find stories about everyday life and events like bedtime, baths, or mealtime, especially if they’re illustrated with photos of children who are your child’s age or a bit older.
  • Stories that review basic concepts like colors, shapes, letters and numbers are always good to have around.
  • Finally, think about your child’s passions and look for books about them! What plot line will he or she enjoy the most?

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Why is curiosity so important and how can we encourage it?

Babies are born curious – they come into the world with an innate desire to understand how things work. They are drawn to new things and experiences, they question, explore, and by doing so, they learn!

If you want your child to be a lifelong learner, the best way to do it is by cultivating his curiosity. All children have some level of innate curiosity that motivates them to explore, however it is important that you take into account your child’s particular curiosity style. Remember, not every child is the same. For example, some children like to explore with their minds, while others prefer to do it through physical activities (touching, crawling, smelling, or tasting). Provide opportunities for each style within a safe and encouraging environment!

Research has shown that it is a child’s inner desire to learn (their curiosity), not external pressures, that motivates them to seek out new experiences and solutions. Curious people are “seekers” of knowledge, they do not only enjoy exploring, but they actually like to look for challenges. Curiosity helps people approach uncertainty in a positive light.

A recent study conducted by researchers from John Hopkins University revealed the critical role curiosity plays. In their experiment, when babies were surprised – that is, when their expectations of an object’s behavior was challenged – researchers discovered that they learned best! Curiosity drew babies to test, explore, and consequently figure out what was going on to better understand the situation.

Given the importance curiosity plays in learning, how can parents nurture their child’s curiosity and make them become knowledge “seekers”?

Here are some tips that will help you get started:

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Learning to walk: Your FAQ answered!

Your baby will achieve tons of milestones, but his first steps will definitely be one you won’t forget! Walking is a mayor achievement in your baby’s physical development and if you are like most parents, you may be anxious about when it’ll happen and how you can encourage it.

 

When is my baby going to start walking?

Generally babies take their first steps between 9 and 15 months, but remember that babies develop at their own pace. So be patient if your little one is taking his time, some babies start walking later on, at around 18 months, and it’s fine!

Did you know that babies are born with an innate knowledge of the movements needed to walk? They just lack the strength in their legs to do it. If you hold your baby in a upright position you will notice he instinctually moves one foot in front of the other in a walking-like motion. This is called the stepping reflex, which disappears at around 4 months.

How can I know if baby is ready to start walking?

There is not one universal sign that indicates that your baby is ready to take his first step. But most babies accomplish these physical milestones before walking:

  • By 7 and 10 months most babies learn to crawl (although some babies never crawl before walking).
  • By 9 and 12 months babies learn to stand up by themselves. Just remember he may be using some furniture as support, so make sure to baby proof your home!
  • Once your baby masters how to cruise between furniture he will venture to practice his first steps by himself.
What about baby proofing?

As your baby starts to take his first step you will feel tons of joy to see your little one starting to gain his independence, but also you’ll probably feel anxious as you see how every object can become a hazard! You probably baby proofed your home when your baby was learning to crawl, but keep in mind that now he will be able to reach higher objects so just make sure to check again.

The most effective way to ensure your baby’s safety is to take a baby’s-eye view of your home. Get down on your knees and see how things look from down there. This will help you figure out which cupboards, drawers, and other spaces your child might get into.

How can I help my baby take his first steps?

Walking is all about confidence and balance. So the best way to help your little one is by praising and encouraging him every time he tries to walk. His first steps will mean a lot to him so when he reaches this monumental milestone, make sure to make a big deal about it.

You can find tons of activities in Kinedu to encourage and practice this skill! Remember practice makes perfect, so the more he practices the better he will become, and before you know it he will almost be running around!

Here’s one of our incredible activities:

 

Looking for more information? Try these links:
 http://www.babycenter.com/0_toddler-milestone-walking_11739.bc
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002010.htm

 

 

New Progress Section Make-over!

Have you downloaded the latest Kinedu version yet? Besides the improvements made to the interface, it includes a new and improved progress section!

We talked to our users and found that one of their main concerns was knowing if their baby’s development was on track. Knowing their baby’s progress in each area was not enough, so we decided to give parents more insights about their baby’s development in a simpler, clearer way – providing better guidance to support their little one. A child’s development changes so fast, sometimes showing very litttle progress in an area for a while and then suddenly leaping to a new stage– now you can get specific insights of each developmental area. Browse through each area and find out where your baby’s strengths and areas of opportunity lie! Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 5.19.12 PM   So, what’s new in the progress report section? Many parents wondered what they could expect from their child’s development within their age group. With the new progress section, now you will be able to have a preview of what your baby will accomplish in the following months! Exciting, huh?

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You will still be able to see your baby’s overall progress for each developmental area and compare it to the average baby his age. However, in the new section you are going to see how your baby progresses over time, giving you a weekly snapshot! Setting new goals and reflecting on past achievements has never been easier.   Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 5.19.38 PMWant to keep track of the activities and milestones your baby reached during the week?  It’s easy with our new weekly progress section in which you’ll see clear graphics depicting the number of milestones and activities that were completed per week. Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 5.21.41 PM   We know it’s an exciting time for parents to witness when their baby reaches a new milestone, whether it’s his first smile, word, or step. If you are wondering which milestones your baby will be working on during the week, we’ve got you covered! Now you will be able to see which are your baby’s upcoming milestones.   Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 5.22.11 PM Lastly, we know you always want to continue strengthening your baby’s skills, so we have a Suggested Track section. By analyzing which milestones your baby hasn’t reached yet, we specifically select a Track that contains a set of activities that will help your baby reach those critical milestones! That way, if you want to focus on developing a specific skill, it’s easy to identify and do!   Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 5.22.39 PM   Don’t wait any longer… try out the newest version with the improved progress section and more, here!

The best way to read with your 1-year-old

In previous blog postswe have highlighted the importance of making a habit out of reading to your baby every day, bringing special one-on-one quality time that strengthens your bond. Depending on your baby’s age, you can focus on different aspects of the reading experience, but what’s the best way to share books with a 1-year-old? The American Academy of Pediatrics has created a literacy toolkit that includes great tips for parents and caregivers who wish to make the most out of reading time!This blog post will summarize a few key points about reading with a 1-year-old throughout three stages: 12 – 14 months, 15 – 17 months and 18 – 24 months. Within each age range, you’ll find examples of what your child can do and what you can do to maximize the reading experience! Continue reading