Director Jewels: VTech Toys: Helping Kids Reach Milestones + Giveaway {Santa's Little Helper Hop} - #HolidayGiftGuide2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

VTech Toys: Helping Kids Reach Milestones + Giveaway {Santa's Little Helper Hop} - #HolidayGiftGuide2014

Disclosure: The VTech product, information, and giveaway have been provided by VTech. No other compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.


Welcome to the Santa’s Little Helper Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!

Who couldn't use a little bit of help around the Holidays? For this blog event, I have teamed up with  a whole bunch of your favorite bloggers - sit back and let us be your Santa’s Little Helper! We're giving away prizes that just about anyone would want to see under the tree! You might find the perfect gift for a little one on your list – or even for yourself, so hop around to all the blogs on the linky at the bottom of this post and don't miss the Santa's Little Helper Grand Prize from Step2!

If there is one thing I've learned in my (almost) four years as a mom, it's that kids develop at their own pace - and none of them is exactly the same. It can be really hard not to play the comparison game when your child is the one who isn't potty trained yet...or isn't speaking in full sentences...or doesn't sleep through the night. I've struggled with this a lot, but I am figuring out that there's just no way to know how quickly a kid will pick up a new skill. Sometimes, the best we as moms can do is to encourage them, make learning fun, and (eventually) seek outside help if needed.

Milestones seem to always be happening around here! Lately, we're marveling at how much Addie talks - though when Lincoln was the same age, he was barely speaking! I have two chatterboxes on my hands right now...it's amazing to me how differently they have worked on their language skills.

VTech has put together a panel of experts including Dr. Lise Eliot, Early Childhood Mental Development Expert, to create Developmental Milestones to help parents as they strive to understand how their children are advancing. The milestones are broken down in ages that range from newborn to nine years old - and each age range is divided by three categories of learning:
-Language and Cognitive
-Social and Emotional Development
-Physical and Motor

The categories explain different characteristics and developments that your child is faced with at a specified age and is then followed by recommended products that best cater to your child.


Dr. Lise Eliot took some developmental and Milestones questions from fellow bloggers and I'm sharing a few of her answers below.

Q. As a parent, what are your suggestions on things I can do with my child to help them develop their social and emotional skills? What are ways I can help my child to get the most of their playtime?

A. Social-emotional skills are the bedrock of learning, so good for you for taking an interest in cultivating them in your child.  The best way to promote emotional and interpersonal skills is through interaction--reading, singing and lots of talking with your child.  Make eye contact with him or her. Laugh together.  Direct your child's attention to interesting things in your environment.  When you read together, ask your child questions about the characters' thoughts and feelings. This can help build empathy. Another way to think about it is to use books or videos as a stepping stone for dialogue with your child.  It's the two-way, back-and-forth sharing of words and feelings that build emotional and communication skills.  Playtime has ample opportunity to do this, whether you are visiting the zoo, finger-painting, or playing with toys.  Take every opportunity to talk about the feelings and relationships among characters your child is drawing or playing with.

Q. As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like I'm responsible for most of my toddler's learning the first couple of years. How can I ensure that I'm teaching him all he needs to know? What are the best games or play to help him learn basics things like numbers, colors, words, etc.?

A. Children learn through play, so almost any activity is a learning opportunity for your child.   Show your child how to count banana slices at lunch time, or toothbrush strokes at bedtime.  Read ABC books to him to teach letter sounds and recognition.  But don't worry too much about academic skills in younger children.  Most important at this age is for children to learn the joy of discovery.  Try to avoid drilling exercises (like flashcards) and instead focus on learning about the real world around him--animals, people, vehicles, music, art--whatever you encounter through books or the world outside that excites your child.  When kids find a passion and get absorbed in it, early literacy and number skills follow easily.

Q. How do doctors come up with specific milestones for each age group? What are some milestones for older age groups (up to age 9)?

A. Infant developmental milestones have been cataloged by studying thousands of babies from all walks of life.  In healthy children, the various milestones emerge in a predictable sequence and time, give or take a few weeks or months.  This predictable pattern is due to the maturation sequence of the developing brain, along with the typical sequence of practice most babies engage in, given their gradually growing strength and coordination.  Some milestones you can look for as your child gets older include: able to draw a circle at age 3, asking lots of "Why" questions at age 4, knowing his or her letters at age 5, tying shoes at age 6, reading aloud fluently at age 7, and a big spurt of social independence beginning at 8-9 .

What milestone has your child achieved lately?

VTech sent us some educational toys that are perfect for kids ages 0-3!


Chomp & Count Dino™
(Ages 12-36 months; MSRP: $19.99)
· Simply place one of the eight brightly-colored play pieces in the dino’s mouth and watch as he eats and recognizes each piece.
· Play in either food or counting mode and the dino responds with rewarding sounds and phrases all while introducing colors, numbers, shapes and more.
· Press the question button and kids can answer the dino’s questions to show what they’ve learned.
· Five shape buttons help kids learn shapes and numbers, while spinning the disc on the dino’s back will play sing-along songs.
· The dino can also be pushed or pulled by a string for even more fun melodies.


 Roll & Surprise Animal Train™
(Ages 6-36 months; MSRP: $15.99)
· Your little one will enjoy peek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities.
· Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors.
· This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases.


Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano™
(Ages 0-12 months; MSRP $24.99)
· Learn and play music with animal friends! The Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano by VTech has a variety of fun musical activities that engage your child on the floor or attached to the crib.
· This soft piano features five animal piano keys that introduce music, instruments and animals.
· The piano also includes a light-up sun that shines and flashes to the music to attract your baby’s attention.
· Choose from two modes of play for fun learning and music activities.

My kids are obsessed with all of these toys. I am normally not a big fan of "noisy" toys, but if they are educational and helping my kids to learn, that's such a great benefit!

How do you keep track of the milestones your children achieve? Make sure you're following along with VTech on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

Giveaway

One Director Jewels reader will win a $60 Prize Pack from VTech - containing all three products featured above! This giveaway will end on December 18 at 11:59pm CST.  This giveaway is open to US readers only (no P.O. Box addresses).


To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below (you may need Javascript enabled to see the form and it may take a moment to load)! Once you complete the first entry, the other options will open up so that you can complete them as well.  All of the "extra entries" are optional - you can do just one, or as many as you want! Winners will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Good luck!

Once you have finished entering my giveaway, hop on over and enter all of the other fantastic giveaways, too! And don't forget to enter to win the Grand Prize!



Disclosure: I received no compensation for posting this contest. Prize will be provided by Vtech. So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Santa's Little Helper participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. Prizes may NOT arrive in time for Christmas Day. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Giveaway Policy and my Disclosure Policy.

115 comments:

  1. "The more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies."

    Love this from the website!

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  2. Language immersion is absolutely key to children's cognitive and emotional development.

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  3. That they work several componets of early childhood development into each toy.

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  4. I learned that, "Research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development.'

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  5. I learned that Relationships are at the core of all human learning. Babies look to their parents' emotions and facial expressions. I know my Grandson is copying this fathers expressions so much it is cute. He even is doing a side smile like his father did!

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  6. I learned that verbal and spatial play is very powerful to a child's overall being!!

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  7. I learned that "The more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies."

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  8. I learned that verbal and spatial play is very powerful to a child's overall being

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  9. My daughter is 3 months old now, it was great to see all the milestones she's already reached, and those that are yet to come!

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  10. I learned that early two way conversations with baby critical to their speech and reading development.

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  11. I learned that my 8 month child grandchild is developmentally advanced. He walks and has already says Ma Ma. He needs alot more stimulus.

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  12. I learned that , young children are constantly exercising their gross and fine motor skills.

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  13. VTech has a panel of experts behind their toys such as a neuroscientist, a childrens reading expert and a professor of mathmatics

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  14. I learned that "the combination of verbal and spatial play is very powerful to children's overall development."

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  15. Kristin Goodson
    lilgoodson21@yahoo.com
    It's important to talk to your child when they are young because it's critical to their own speech and reading development!

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  16. Language immersion is absolutely key to children's cognitive and emotional development.

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  17. I learned that verbal and spatial play is very powerful to a child's overall being

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  18. I learned that infants learn about the world, not only from our words, but our facial expressions.

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  19. I learned that these toys help promote language and cognitive growth, social and emotional growth and physical and motor skills :)

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  20. I learned how important play is in speech and cognitive development.

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  21. I learned that , young children are constantly exercising their gross and fine motor skills.

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  22. I learned that relationships are key to form bonds not only with parents, peers as well.

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  23. I have a baby . but also have a four-year old, so I checked out the milestones for each. I learned age five is when kids find best friends important.

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  24. I learned that the more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies.

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  25. If I won I would be gifting this to my daughter-in-law.

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  26. I learned that children learn important concepts through non-verbal play, like building and sorting.

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  27. I learned that "research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development."

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  28. I love that all their toys are actually learning toys!
    onecheaplady@yahoo.com

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  29. I love all their learning toys, and their milestone page do have an important point that all the babies first learn about the world through parents experession
    nips981@yahoo.com

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  30. I learned that they put a lot of thought into making sure each of their toys encourages learning.

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  31. Opportunities for learning and social development via parents and peers is very important.

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  32. I like that they emphasizing learning thru play!

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  33. children learn thru play and busy play.

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  34. That baby's learn from both our words and facial expressions

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  35. I read that every child is different and they learn through play.

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  36. Every child grows at a different pace.

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  37. All children learn through play. V tech has some great toys for kids to learn by.

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  38. I learned that the combination of verbal and spatial play is very powerful to children's overall development.

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  39. I learned that children learn a lot from facial expressions and from their peers. I liked the emphasis on emotional development.

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  40. I learned they had a parents resource center on their website.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  41. children rely strictly on other human to see how the social world works

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  42. I learned that children learn through play.

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  43. I learned that the more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies.

    ReplyDelete
  44. learned that hildren learn important concepts through non-verbal play, like building and sorting, and so the combination of verbal and spatial play is very powerful to children's overall development.

    hippopurplemonkey at yahoo dot com

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  45. I learned that children learn a lot from facial expressions and from their peers. I liked the emphasis on emotional development.

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  46. I learned, " Research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development. "

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  47. I learned that children need non verbal play.

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  48. Visited and learned Children learn through play, and as every exhausted parent knows, their play is extremely physical.

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  49. I learned at three years old my son's stranger shyness should start to diminish.

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  50. Children learn through playing.

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  51. The more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Babies look to their parents' emotions and facial expressions to first learn about the world

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  53. I learned that building and sorting is very powerful to children's overall development.

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  54. "The more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies"

    I think this is also true for adults! haha Thanks for the chance

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  55. Each child grows at a different pace mentally, emotionally and physically.

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  56. I learned that you can find sales and even search toy/products by your child's age group on the site.

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  57. VTech has a panel of experts behind their toys

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  58. I learned my baby is pretty much on target with her milestones, but still working on 2.

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  59. Ashley Chassereau ParksDecember 10, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    I learned that Vtech has an "expert panel" made up of a team of very educated individuals, one being Dr. Lise Eliot, who wrote "What's Going On In There." Find her book fascinating and didn't realize she was associated with VTech. :)

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  60. research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development

    ReplyDelete
  61. I learned that children learn important concepts through non-verbal play.

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  62. I learned that Language immersion is absolutely key to children's cognitive and emotional development.

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  63. I learned about the importance of verbal play.

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  64. I learned that Babies look to their parents' emotions and facial expressions to first learn about the world

    ReplyDelete
  65. I learned that research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Children learn important concepts through non-verbal play, like building and sorting, and so the combination of verbal and spatial play is very powerful to children's overall development.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I learned that the more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies.

    ReplyDelete
  68. "The more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the better for the development of both their minds and bodies."

    ReplyDelete
  69. babies watch their parents expressions and reactions to learn!

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  70. physical play helps mental growth

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  71. Research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I learned that "Research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development."

    ReplyDelete
  73. I learned how important verbal play is!

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  74. I learned that "early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development."

    ReplyDelete
  75. I learned about some of the social and emotional milestones my 2 year old is dealing with. It's cool to look at the list and recognize things that she is doing already.I like that they give toy recommendations for each age too.

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  76. I learned how important non verbal play is for kids to learn.

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  77. Children learn through play.
    jessica edwards

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  78. I liked the fact that they had a parents resource center on their website.

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  79. I learned that at 12 - 18 month stage, children can hold a book and identify objects in the book with the correct starting sound.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  80. I learned that research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech

    ReplyDelete
  81. I learned that relationships are at the core of all human learning.

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  82. I didn't realize how early some of the milestones happen. I've got a lot to read up on before baby arrive .

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  83. children are constantly exercising their gross and fine motor skills.

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  84. I learned that each child grows at a different pace mentally, emotionally and physically.

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  85. I love that they have so many different products available that are to help encourage fun learning.

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  86. I learned my 9 year old has not met his Language & Cognitive milestone. But that is expected since he has Dyslexia.

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  87. I learned that they are having a Christmas sale right now! :D

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  88. I learned that children learn through play

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  89. I learned that all children learn through physical play!

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  90. I learned that two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Each child reaches milestones at different times.

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  92. I learned that verbal and spatial play is very powerful to a child's overall being

    ReplyDelete
  93. I learned that it is important for children's muscles are exercised and also their brains.

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  94. I learned --Whether it is learning to crawl, or run, or build a brick tower, young children are constantly exercising their gross and fine motor skills, honing the brain pathways for smooth, purposeful movement.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Each child grows at a different pace mentally, emotionally and physically

    ReplyDelete
  96. each child reaches milestones at different times

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  97. i learned that research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development

    ReplyDelete
  98. I learned that they have 4 new products available

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  99. I learned that early two way conversations with baby are critical to their speech and reading development.
    vikki.billings@yahoo.com

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  100. That babies look to their parents' facial expressions for social skills.

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  101. I learned 0-6 months old, my baby is right on track. She shows interest in simple picture books.

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  102. I learned that children learn through busy play.
    Brittney House BBrittBrat1398@yahoo.com

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  103. I learned Each child grows at a different pace mentally, emotionally and physically.

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  104. I learned that kids learn more when they are having fun and playing without using words.

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  105. I learned that research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I learned that verbal and spatial play is very powerful to a child's overall being.

    ReplyDelete
  107. I found out that social developmen is importantt via parents and by peers

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  108. I learned that language immersion is key for children's cognitive and emotional development.

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  109. I learned that early two way conversations are critical to later reading development in babies and toddlers.

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  110. i learned that you could ask the experts and i enjoyed reading about who runs the page

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  111. My 3 year old seems to meet just over half the goals for his age group, but I;m not too worried about the rest. He can jump, walk, and talk fine... some of the cognitive issues like names and interest in reading haven't developed, quite yet.

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  112. I learned that research has proven that early, two-way conversations with babies and young children is critical to their own speech and later reading development.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Language immersion is absolutely key to children's cognitive and emotional development.

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