Do you have a child in your care that you want to make sure is on track developmentally? Eight years ago, as a new parent I was always concerned if my first born was meeting all her milestones. ‘Concerned’ may be an understatement – I was borderline obsessed with making sure I was giving her the best start to life. I mean, I know how important those first years are and I was bound not to jack it up!
Lucky for me, I had just started a new position as a Parent Educator and was trained in helping parents provide experiences to help their children meet their developmental milestones. I had some really good tools in my toolbox, but even I felt the need to have a checklist — there is something so gratifying about making a checkmark!!! Which experiences did I need to provide her with? How could I help her meet a milestone that she was struggling with? Well, first I had to see what she could do, then I would checkmark it with a highlighter.
Serious Sidenote: I do not feel that drilling children with a million questions, asking them to name objects on flashcards or demanding they sit and ‘practice’ skills is AT ALL appropriate. I could see what she knew just by observing, playing and talking with her.
After I knew what she knew, I could start providing her with the experiences/tools she needs. For example, if I want my child to feed herself with a spoon, then I have to provide the spoon and model how it is used. Without the spoon on the tray, she would never explore it and eventually learn to use it. If I want my child to be able to say ‘more’, I have to use the word over and over when the child wants more.
You may be thinking, this all seems common-sense like. It is, but being a caregiver is hard and tiring. Why not take some of the guess work out of it?! You can grab this resource- the same one I created to use with my kiddos- for free. There are checklist for ages 0-36 months. Enjoy!
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