Your Child 0-6: Normal Development - FamilyEducation

Toddler Growth and Development

Learn about normal development in your toddler and how you can foster it.

12 Toddler Playtime Activities Using Common Household Items

Looking for some easy imagination playtime activities for your busybody toddler or preschooler? Just check your cabinets, toy box, or recycling bin for some new "toys" and supplies for playtime. All of these activities use basic household items to stimulate and entertain your tot for hours! Do you have construction paper and string? Try making this butterfly mobile read more

5 Ways to Use Craft Sticks for Play

  We are always looking for cheap ways to play, and a bag of craft sticks definitely fits that inexpensive bill. Craft sticks are popsicle sticks that come in several different sizes and colors, and don't require sticky mess clean-up before use. Each type can be used in many ways for hours of fun, and best of all, they don't require any set up! If you have a bag of craft sticks, have some fun these five imaginative activities. read more

6 Homemade Playdough Recipes

Everyone seems to have a favorite playdough recipe, and many old favorites have been included here. Some require cooking and some don't; some are meant to be eaten and some are not. Choose the recipe that best suits your needs and the ingredients you have on hand. Store playdough in a covered container or Ziploc bag. If it sweats a little, just add more flour. For sensory variety, use playdough warm or cool as well as at room temperature. read more

6 Steps to Cure a Whiny Child

"But Mo-omm!" Sound familiar? Children whine at all ages, whether you have a toddler who wants a new toy or a teen who wants to stay out an hour past curfew. Having a whiny child on your hands is sure to fray your nerves, so nip this bad habit in the bud with these tips and strategies. read more

A Matter of Place

A Matter of Place Required: Globe, atlas, or map When you hear the words, "Great Britain," what's the first thing that comes to mind? Buckingham Palace, fish and chips, or The Beatles? Perhaps your child can come up with these place associations, as well as a dozen more. read more

A Reading Checklist: Birth Through Age Six

A Reading Checklist: Birth Through Age Six There are many ways to encourage your child to become involved in reading. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help stay on track: For Babies (Six Weeks to One Year) Do I provide a comfortable place for our story time? Is my child happy to be here? read more

Abbreviate It

Abbreviate ItTime 10 to 15 minutes Materials None Directions Teach the concept of abbreviating in a playful way. One of you thinks of two letters that the other has to turn into a phrase that matches the abbreviation. For example, FS could mean "feeling silly." Keep going as long as you can without getting stumped. Extensions read more

Act It Out

Act It OutFor most children, drama begins informally at a very young age. Playing with dolls is drama; playing store or hospital is drama; and playing cops and robbers is drama. Children also observe drama on TV, in movies, and onstage. This activity gives children an opportunity to participate in drama in a more structured and intentional way. Directions read more

Action Words

Action WordsDirections read more

Activities for Age Three

Activities for Age ThreeThese activities will enrich children's language development and enhance emergent math and literacy skills. Building Reading Skills Literature read more

Adopt a Tree

Adopt a TreeTime 20 to 30 minutes Materials TreeTape measurerPaperPencil Directions Find a tree that you both think is special and adopt it.Explore it by touch. Measure its circumference.Research its variety and particular needs for optimal growth, and devote some regular time to caring for it. Extensions read more

Adventure Walk

Adventure WalkTime 20 to 30 minutes Materials None Directions Why walk on the same old route when you can head out on an adventure designed by your child? Let your child give directions for the route and follow along agreeably. Extensions read more

Age-by-Age Guide to Helping Your Shy Child Thrive

Not every person is cut out to be a social butterfly. Research shows that nearly half of all teens and adults identify themselves as shy. Some people are born with a timid temperament, and others seem to develop a shy personality along the way. What can you do as a parent to give your shy child a social boost? Whether your child is a mildly timid toddler or a highly introverted teen, find tips for helping him succeed and feel comfortable in school and social situations at any age. read more

All About People

All About PeopleRequired:Your time only Imagine if dogs, cats, hamsters, and other animals could explain the purpose of humans. Why do they act as they do? Here are some categories to think about. Definitions: How would pets define humans? A cat might define "human" as a being that can use a can opener and serve as a sleeping platform. The dog might describe humans as a being that can spell WA-L-K. What about some other creatures? read more

All-About-Me Book

All-About-Me Book Activity for an individual child Age group: 18-40 months Duration of activity: 45 minutes Materials: Light-colored construction or bond paper Markers Magazines Scissors White craft glue Your child can create a lasting memory. He will enjoy "reading" it as much as he did creating it. You can bind the pages together with a stapler or by punching holes in the sides and attaching the pages with a yarn bow. read more

Anagrams Activity

Anagrams ActivityAnagrams are pairs or groups of words that use exactly the same letters in different order, for example: pills/spill and eat/tea. Directions read more

Animal Dress-Up

Animal Dress-UpTime 15 to 20 minutes Materials Some of your toddler's clothesLarge stuffed animals Directions To give dolls and stuffed animals a new look, dress them up in your toddler's clothes.Talk about how nice they look, and thank your toddler for helping out. Extensions read more

Animal Dress-Up

Animal Dress-UpMaterials Stuffed animals or dolls Christmas ribbon, bows, or fabric Directions When decorating your home for the holidays, encourage your child to do some decorating of his own. Dress up your child's favorite dolls or stuffed animals with some Christmas ribbon or big bright bows or use Christmas fabric to create scarves or kerchiefs. Display the animals on a shelf in your child's room or on a mantel in a more prominent part of your house. read more

Animal Gifts

Animal Gifts Required: Your time only Who says your child has to wait until Mother's or Father's Day to create a special gift for you? Make this the day that you receive a special present from your child-the make-believe animal! Ask your child to role-play an animal. Your child might choose to take on the character of a family pet, a farm animal, or a wild creature. Then ask your child what that animal might choose to give humans as a gift and why. read more

Animal Restaurants

Animal Restaurants Required: Your time only Optional: Writing/drawing supplies Ever heard of the Fresh Fly Café? You would if you were a frog. How about the Hay Loft? It would be your eatery of choice if you were a horse. read more

Apple Candlesticks

Apple CandlesticksTime 20 to 30 minutes Materials Paring knifePlastic wrapPotato peelerLemon juice2 Rome Beauty apples2 candles Directions read more

Apple Shake-Ups

Apple Shake-UpsThese treats aren't very nutritious, but toddlers will love to help make their own colorful snack. Materials Apple Knife Sugar Cinnamon Ziploc bag Directions read more

Apple Smile

Apple SmileMaterials Red apple (unpeeled) Peanut butter Miniature marshmallows Directions Cut a crisp apple into wedges. When laid on its side, each wedge should look like a lip. Spread one side of an apple wedge with peanut butter. Add three or four miniature marshmallow "teeth" along the edge. Spread another apple wedge with peanut butter. Place it on top of the marshmallows for a big, toothy grin. read more

Artwork Display

Artwork DisplayHere's a way to display your child's artwork on the refrigerator without having to cover it up with magnets to keep it there! Materials Wooden ruler (12-, 18-, or 24-inch) Magnet strip (same length as ruler) Glue gun Clothespins, spring-type (at least 2) Directions read more

Baby Bookworms! 7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers

Did you know that reading to your baby can boost his brain power? The American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new policy in June 2014 advising that parents regularly read aloud to kids from infancy through at least age 5 because it stimulates development, supports the parent/child bond, and helps build language, literacy, and social/emotional skills at a critical time in children's lives. Plus, it's just plain fun! read more

Backsliding on Potty Training

Relax! Toilet training is a lot of work for both the child and her parents. read more

Backward Day

Backward DayTime All day Materials Common items used for self-care Directions Do your day backward. For example, you might begin the day with dinner, brush your teeth before you eat, put on your shoes before your shirt, or comb your hair and then mess it up. Extensions read more

Backwards Day

Backwards DayDirections Today you are going to turn your child's day around! Everything that usually happens at the start of the day will take place in the evening, and vice versa. Begin the day with a bedtime story and a bath, take the afternoon nap in the morning, and have breakfast at night. Think of other things that you could do in keeping with a backwards day. Do not forget to let your child know what's going on and ask her for ideas. read more


BackwordsDirections Choose a word, then challenge your child to reverse the letters of the word (in his head or on paper) and say it backward. For example, tree becomes eert, car becomes rac, and so on. If you like, start with simple one-syllable words. As your child becomes more skilled at this game, challenge him to reverse words with digraphs (pairs of letters, such as sh, that each represent a single sound), words with silent letters, multisyllabic words, and complete sentences. read more

Balancing Board

Balancing BoardMaterials Board measuring about 8 inches wide by 6 feet long Magazines or booksDirections read more