Last Reviewed September 2014
Play, Learning and Development
Parents and caregivers have a positive influence on the brain development of their young children. For the best connections to be made in the brain, your child needs:
- Tell your child you love her
- Read a book with your child
- Greet your child with a big smile and hug
- Sing a song or nursery rhyme in your first language
When doing these simple, everyday activities you’re helping build your child’s brain. Connections are made in the brain as your child looks at you, feels your touch and hears your voice. The more touching, talking and singing you do with your baby or child the more his brain develops.
- Eat meals together as a family
- Let your child help choose what to eat
- Let your child play with his food. This helps him use his senses
- Let your child decide how much to eat
Offering children healthy foods is important for healthy minds and healthy bodies. While breastfeeding is the most important source of nutrition and protection for babies in the first six months of life, as your child gets older, his diet should include a variety of different foods. Find out about feeding your baby about six months of age or feeding your toddler or preschooler.
- Sing and dance to your child’s favourite song
- Blow bubbles during bath time
- Go for a walk together
- Play with blocks and count them with your child
You are your child’s first and favourite play-mate. Try these fun, easy ways to play with your child in the first year
of life and up to age six
- Teach your child rules while crossing the road
- Keep your child’s play area safe
- Make sure your child is always properly restrained in his car seat/booster seat/seatbelt
- Teach your child to wear protective helmets for sports
As your child learns to walk and crawl, she begins to explore the world around them. While exploring gives your child new experiences, it’s important that you keep your child’s living and playing spaces safe. Use the Home Safety Checklist to make your home or environment child safe.
Developmental Milestones give you an idea of what things your child may learn at different ages. As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to remember that every child is unique. Although children grow and develop at different rates, there are common developmental milestones that you should watch for in your child.
Once your child reaches 18 months, she’s also eligible for a free Enhanced 18 Month Well Baby visit with her doctor where you can discuss your child’s development, early literacy in addition to a full physical examination.
If you have any concerns about your child’s development or well being, please speak to your family doctor or call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
Read more about toddlers and preschoolers development:
Milestones for toddlers
Milestones for preschoolers
Learn how your baby’s brain develops
Learn how you can support your baby’s brain development
Learn the importance of healthy brain development
Community Agencies in Peel
Child Development Resource Connection Peel (CDRCP)
Region of Peel Children’s Services (Child Care Services)
Region of Peel Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program
Peel Early Years Centres and Programs
Peel Children’s Centre
Success By 6 Peel
For more information:
Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health Nurse
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216