8 Things to Remember about Child Development

Genetic factors influences on human development, environmental factors have the ability to alter family inheritance. For example, children are born with the capacity to learn to control impulses, focus attention, and retain information in memory, but their experiences as early as the first year of life lay a foundation for how well these and other executive function skills develop. To learn more: Click Here

The Brain Circuits Underlying Motivation: An Interactive Graphic

What is motivation? The brain systems that govern motivation are built over time, starting in the earliest years of development. These intricate neural circuits and structures are shaped by interactions between the experiences we have and the genes we are born with, which together influence both how our motivation systems develop and how they function later in life.

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In the interactive graphic, hover over or click the labels on the brain regions to learn more about how each region affects motivation, and hover over or click the highlighted text to the left of the brain image to see how those regions interact.

How to Motivate Children: Science-Based Approaches for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers

What’s the best way to motivate children? The intrinsic motivation to learn about the world around us begins in infancy. This type of motivation can either be encouraged or suppressed by the experiences adults provide for children. Psychological research points to a set of promising approaches that parents and practitioners can use to promote positive motivation and learning during development.

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By age four, your child will be using long sentences with more than one idea, such as “I want to go out and play on the swing.” She will use pronouns (I, you, me, she, he, we), past tense (walked), and some question words (what, who, where, why). Your child understands most concept words like colours, shapes, locations, texture and time. She should be able to follow multiple step directions like “Go to the washroom and brush your teeth.” With the exception of small errors, your child should be understood by most adults.

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In the area of physical development, they begin to walk up stairs on their own, stand on one foot, kick balls, run without falling, and jump off the floor with both feet. Some ideas to keep them busy and help them grow are games that make them change speed and direction (stop and go, run backwards, crawl slowly, clap really fast), and this also helps them learn to follow directions. Knocking things down is really fun too. You can use empty bottles or cartons and a ball to play bowling, or stack up blocks and knock them over.

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I Am Two - Post Card Series for Parents

 How you can help to develop your child’s vocabulary.

While physical growth is greatest in the first year, the year from age 2 to 3 is a prime time for communication gains. Children have between 100-300 words at age 2 and between 500-1000 words by age 3. And those are just the words that a child uses! This is known as expressive language. Receptive language refers to all of the language that the child knows and understands and those words and concepts are significantly higher in number. Since this year is such a huge one for language attainment, adults need to make the most of it.

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At this stage in development children are discovering and exploring the world around them. They are learning about the world through ‘doing’ - through touch, grasp, reach and taste - and through ‘thinking’ about their world and how it works. How you families encourage their learning and exploration in their child through play? To read more: Click Here

The following video also has great ideas for sensory play.