Having a child is an exciting time for any new parent. As a parent, you are no doubt keen to provide your child with the very best start in life possible, providing them with the building blocks to go on a live a healthy, happy life as they grow up. So, what can you do to ensure that your little one is fully supported and has everything they need to succeed in the future? Here is how you can ensure that your child thrives in their early development.
Encourage a love of a healthy diet
Your child does a lot of growing before they start school, both physically and mentally, and it is hugely important that they receive a rich diet to help support this growth. Particularly important nutrients for young children include calcium, found in dairy products, to help bones and teeth grow strong; vitamin C, found in fresh fruits and vegetables, to support immunity and ensure healthy skin and teeth; and complex carbohydrates, found in wholegrain pasta, bread, and potatoes, to provide slow-release energy. Kids might love the taste of sweets and other junk food, but restrict the consumption of these to occasional treats. Your child’s early years are an age at which you can influence their eating habits for life, so show them the way to lifelong health by encouraging a love of a balanced, nutritious diet.
Demonstrate that exercise can be fun
Kids have boundless amounts of energy that can be best released by running around and playing in the outdoors. They may not realise it, seeing playtime merely as an opportunity to explore and have fun, but this level of activity provides an important source of exercise to help keep them fit and healthy. As such, you should encourage your child to actively play as much as possible rather than watching the TV or playing on their tablet. For instance, you could make regular trips to take them to the local park to play in the children’s play area or encourage them to play outside in your garden every day. Furthermore, set a good example for your child by regularly engaging in fun physical activities as a family, such as regular walks or bike rides. Then, as they get older, encourage them to participate in team sports to meet other kids and have fun. By your example, your child will have enjoyment for exercise and physical activity that will help keep them physically fit throughout their life.
Find the right preschool
Preschool is an important step for a child to make, bridging the gap between home and school. If you have to return to work soon after your child is born, they might start preschool at an early age. Or, you might want your toddler to interact with others of a similar age to develop important social schools. Therefore, it is important that you consider your child’s personal needs and personality when looking for a preschool to find the right one to support their needs. Also, consider what you as a parent want your child to get from preschool. For instance, Rainbow Smiles Nursery uses The Curiosity Approach to combine curiosity with children’s learning. In this approach, the bright, brash walls and plastic toys that you might expect to find in a nursery environment are instead replaced with neutral tones and natural materials to not overload the child’s senses and encourage exploration and a sense of wonder.
Read to them
Reading and listening to stories allows children to use their strong imaginations and develop a sense of empathy for those who are different to themselves. A bedtime story read by a parent has long been an important part of a child’s bedtime routine, allowing them to relax and settle down for sleep. Studies show that children whose parents read aloud to them are more likely to experience academic success and enjoy reading for pleasure. If the thought of reading aloud to your child makes you feel self-conscious, tips include reading slowly and expressively so that your child can follow and is engaged. Go to the bookshop or library together to choose a few books – the right one will soon make both of you forget your awkwardness!
These are just some of the things you can do to support your child’s early development. With a stable and supportive home environment, your little one will be able to go out into the world and flourish.