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Your Baby is a Budding Scientist!

August: Digging Into STEM

By: Bright by Three - August 1, 2018

Curiosity is an attribute we must cultivate in our children. Early discoveries, trial and error and tactile explorations are actually the building blocks of science, technology, engineering and math  STEM for short. The world needs more creative people and believe it or not, there are ways s to aid your child in developing these valuable skills before they can even walk! The vast majority of brain development takes place during the first three years of life, so why not pave the way for your baby to become a biochemist while we’re at it. We’ve got some tips and information to help you understand and encourage your baby’s STEM capabilities.

The first year presents tremendous opportunity to get your child thinking critically in their unique way.
 
  1. You’ve probably noticed that when babies interact with their parents, they stare. This powerful stare indicates that she is seeking information. As she continues to grow, she starts to mirror behavior.
  2. Have conversations with your newborn and respond by mimicking her sounds and facial expressions. Describe her actions out loud as often as possible.
  3. Rolling, crawling and moving around are all trial and error for your baby so make sure he has room to move. Your soon-to-be toddler is learning science!

Here are some tips to make your toddler tech-savvy with less reliance on screens and TV!
 
  1. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), even educational programs on TV aren’t as enriching as real life, such as figuring out how a toy works, playing games, or singing songs and dancing with you. That doesn’t mean that technology doesn’t serve a purpose. Learn how to leverage screen time to build your relationship with your child and help her gain skills.
  2. Children are curious and they want to use all their senses to explore the environment. Go out in nature and find shapes and textures in your child’s environment. Offer three-dimensional shapes for her to explore and sort.
  3. Purchase or make your own toys that let children create patterns, build, count and sort. Focus on toys that develop children’s physical, cognitive, academic, musical and artistic skills. Select puzzles with pictures that can probe deeper thinking and question development.
  4. Cut or tear out the pages from an old calendar. Mix up the months and hand the stack of pages to your child. Ask your child to order the months from January to December by laying the pages out on the floor. Which month goes first? Then which one? Which month is last?

Help your preschooler understand basic science principles with these activities and concepts!
  1. Estimating how much a container can hold then measuring to find out teaches children basic skills that apply in math and in science. Hands on activities like this help children understand underlying concepts such as volume and mass.
  2. Learning to assign one number to each object as you count is an important concept for children to grasp. Using children's age as the basis for counting helps them develop this skill as they grow.
  3. You can use children's fingers or familiar objects when you count. You can also put these items in two groups and add them together to practice simple addition.
  4. Learning about speed helps children understand their world. This PBS video shows how six different animals move slow, medium or fast. You can also demonstrate speed by playing a game like Simon Says with your child. Demonstrate slow, medium and fast movements when Simon says.

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!

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One Book, Two Books, Red Book, Blue Book

July: Making Reading Fun

By Bright by Three

You can also check out this blog post on Denver's top mom blog, Mile High Mamas!

Summer is here, and between the lemonade stands and outdoor adventures, we can’t forget about learning. Vacations present an incredible opportunity to slow down and read with your kids. You can read about the places you’re traveling and activities you’re planning, or just enjoy the books you’ve come to love. Whether you’re swinging in a hammock or keeping cool by the pool, reading is a great way to relax and explore. Head to your local library with your child and stock up for your summer reading lists. Let them choose books that they gravitate toward so they can get excited about the reading roster.

We’ve gathered some ideas to help you guide your child’s language and literacy skills through the power of reading.

From the time your child is born, you should be reading to him on a regular basis according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Follow these helpful hints to get kids excited about books:
 
  1. By setting an example and showing your child that you love to read, she will be inclined to read more too.
  2. Make reading fun by singing the text to keep her attentive, making the book interactive by pointing at the pictures, or using books that are fun to touch and feel.
  3. Point at pictures and say the names of objects out loud. Your baby will listen and learn the importance of language.
  4. Read for a few minutes every night at bedtime. Soothing routines end the day on a positive note.

Reading every day with your toddler is one of the most important things you can do to help him learn. Check out these suggestions to cultivate a lifelong love of reading:
 
  1. Your 12-18 month old can already choose a book off the shelf, so encourage that independence.
  2. When he looks at pictures of animals imitate animal sounds to bring the book to life for your child.
  3. Find a quiet, comfortable place to read together, or you can read out loud while your child plays near you.
  4. “Read” the pages out of order or in whatever order your child prefers.
  5. Make a baby-proof picture book to teach your child names of family members, friends, pets, and more. Learn more here.

Reading can help prepare your child for preschool by cultivating their conversation skills and increasing their attention span. Here are some tips to get you started:
 
  1. The most effective way to read to your child is to actively involve him in the process by letting him react and interact with the book.
  2. Make reading  fun, verbal, and stimulating. The focus should not be on teaching, but on the fun you’re having with your child while you read.
  3. Set up your child for success by selecting books that will help her learn new words.
  4. Read the world around you. At the grocery store, read labels and find items that start with the same letter to teach the importance of language.

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!

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Safety Guidelines Reminder - Ways to Keep Kids Safe

June: National Safety Month

By: Bright by Three - June 1, 2018

You can also check out this blog post on Denver's top mom blog, Mile High Mamas!

Our little ones love to explore. They learn about the world by exploring the objects and places around them. They touch things, they taste things, they walk into things, they jump off of things, all kinds of exploration. That keeps us parents busy keeping them safe!


The National Safety Council has declared the month of June National Safety month to increase the awareness families have about child safety and safety guidelines. There are many safety guidelines out there! Here are a few key ones to pay attention to for young kids at different ages.

Prenatal:
  • Practice safe sleep. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. Following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Safe Sleep guidelines  are an important step to reducing these risks.
  • Choose a pediatrician for your baby. Be sure to consider the location, office hours, on-call options, and insurance coverage.

Zero-Six Months:
  • Newborns cry a lot, but some can be harder to comfort than others. If you feel yourself getting frustrated lay the baby down in a safe place and leave the room to take a few deep breaths, or call a family member of friend. Never shake a baby! You can also call the Fussy Baby Network at 1-877-627-9227 for support, and information about ways to calm the baby.
  • Practice tummy time with baby. Tummy time while babies are awake is important for the development of their neck and shoulder muscles. The AAP recommends doing tummy time for three-five minutes at a time two-three times a day.
  • When you introduce solid food, introduce one food at a time and then wait a few days to make sure baby doesn’t have an allergy.
  • Take an infant CPR class. It can take some time for babies to get used to eating solid food. Make sure you know what to do if your baby chokes.

Six-Twelve Months
  • Baby-proof and supervise your child. As baby becomes more mobile, baby-proofing your home is important to give your child a safe place to explore, but nothing can substitute for your attention.  Always supervise your baby to ensure their safety.
  • Make sure your baby fits in their car seat. As baby grows, it might be time a for a new car seat. The AAP recommends babies remain rear facing until they are two.

One-Five Years
  • Keep up with well child doctor visits. Taking your child to doctor on the recommended schedule will help keep them healthy, and make sure their development is on track.
  • Watch children carefully around water. Children can drown in less than two inches of water. Stay within an arm’s length of your child when around water. Empty buckets after use, and close the door to the bathroom when not in use.
  • Make sure your child wears a helmet when on a bike, trike, skates or scooter. Emergency rooms see more bicycle and head injuries than any other childhood injury. Helmets prevent head injuries, especially when they fit properly and are worn consistently.

All Ages
  • Never leave your child alone in the car. Children have died from being too hot in the car in outside temperatures as low at 60 degrees. Cracking the windows doesn’t help. Cars can reach 125 degrees in just minutes.
  • Use sunscreen every time your child is in the sun. Even if it’s cloudy and cool. Just one bad, blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles a person's chances of developing deadly skin cancer (melanoma) later in life.

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!

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Taking Care of You

May: National Mental Health Month

By Bright by Three - May 1, 2018

You can also check out this blog post on Denver's top mom blog, Mile High Mamas!

In the parenting world, our children are generally the ones getting all of the attention, care and concern. We recognize that parents and caregivers are important, but their issues and outcomes often get brushed under the rug when we talk about raising a child. But a child’s healthy development depends on a strong family unit and network of caregivers, so it’s essential to focus not only on the young ones, but also their first teachers in life, parents and caregivers.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and we’d like to share our love and support for our heroic parents and caregivers with tips on caregiver resilience and pregnancy-related depression (PRD).

As an expectant mother, it’s essential for your health as well as your baby’s prenatal development for you to feel strong and supported. Here are some tips for the months and weeks leading up to baby’s arrival:
  1. Expressing how you feel with a friend, relative, in a group or with a counselor or therapist can help you feel more confident about your new role. Baby will feel that confidence even before he is born.
  2. Support groups can be a great source of comfort as you discover others who are feeling the same way you are.
  3. Building support doesn’t have to be hard - just reach out! Reaching out is a sign of strength not weakness. Embrace your strength by sharing.  
  4. Research indicates that when a mother experiences a relaxed state, the baby’s fetal heart rhythm improves. So relax, take a nap or a bath! Taking care of you is taking care of the baby.
Postpartum blues and depression are common conditions and can be treated. The sooner you receive help, the sooner the healing can begin. Here are some tips for coping:
  1. Don’t try to suppress crying or put on a ‘supermom’ show for everyone.
  2. Get out of the house at least once a day, even if it’s only for five minutes.
  3. Schedule regular time alone with your partner or with a friend.
  4. If you don’t feel better by the time your baby is 1 month old, talk to your physician about your feelings.
The first few months of raising a child are a big transition. Here are some tips for when you’re feeling frustrated:
  1. Place your baby gently in his crib and leave the room while you take some time to calm yourself down, making sure to check on your baby within five to 10 minutes.
  2. If your baby is fussy or hard to comfort, remember you’re not alone. 1 in 5 babies is fussy or difficult to comfort.
  3. Try holding, rocking, or stroking your baby over and over. Babies will take longer to calm down if they are very young or very upset. Whatever you do, NEVER SHAKE A BABY. This can cause serious, permanent harm - even death.
  4. Call Fussy Baby Network if you have concerns about baby’s fussiness during the first year of life: 1-877-627-9227. The infant specialists at Fussy Baby Network will work with caregivers to find more ways to comfort, care for, and enjoy your baby. Fussy Baby Network will also look for ways to reduce stress and ways to help you feel more confident.
For parents of children at all ages, it’s okay to focus on yourself sometimes. Self-care is equally as important to your child’s growth and health as learning games and activities.
Here are some tips for when you’re feeling frustrated:
  1. Take some deep breaths, and feel yourself relax and get back in control of your emotions.
  2. Call a friend, relative, or trusted neighbor. Caregivers need someone to talk with for support, advice, or just to blow off steam.
  3. Take some time for yourself. Go do the things you enjoy and find time to relax.
Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!

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Time to Talk it Out

April: National English Language Month

By Bright by Three - April 2, 2018

You can also check out this blog post on Denver's top mom blog, Mile High Mamas!

As the blossoms begin to bloom and buds begin to open, we find fresh sights and sounds to talk about with our children. It’s a wonderful time to point out new colors, shapes and smells. This  helps them learn new words too. What better way for your child to grow into a chatter than getting excited about the world as it changes. One of the most important things you can do with your child is talk out loud to fill their brains with language, and help them learn how to use it. Let’s seize this springtime opportunity! April is National English Language Month and we’ve gathered some awesome tips to encourage you and your child to have conversations. Language development is super important in the first year of babies lives and even before they are born! 

 
  1. Believe it or not, you should start talking to your baby before he is born, so go ahead moms, talk to your tummy.

  2. Once baby is born, try talking to your baby close-up so she can watch your lips move and connect that to sound. Eventually she will imitate those movements and form her first sounds. Take a peek at this video to find out how!

  3. Show your young child how to tell you he is feeling hungry by putting his hand on his mouth or rubbing his belly. If you do this over and over and then give him food while saying the word “hungry,” your child will pick up the symbol and learn to talk to you with his hands.

  4. When you’re having a snack, talk with your baby about what you’re doing. “When I bite an apple, it makes a crunch sound. When you have teeth, you’ll eat apples too.” 

In your child’s second year, you’ll start to hear them form real words! 

 
  1. Talk about things you use every day, such as utensils, food and toys. Ask your child to name familiar objects and give him time to think and respond.

  2. When reading with your child, make sure to talk about the images your child touches. Later ask him to show you the image and see if he can point it out.

  3. As a baby gets better at talking, it is important to learn the rhythm of taking turns in a conversation. 

As your child toddles, their babble becomes clear and direct, but you still need to make learning to talk fun! 

 
  1. Let your child explore her reflection while you talk about what she is doing. This helpful video can show you how.

  2. Instead of speaking as usual, try singing in a different voice. When you put new words into tunes and describe what you are doing, you help your child make new and unusual connections.

  3. Give your preschooler your full attention. Even a quick but focused connection may fill your child's need for communication. If she says "Play with me," and you are not available, you might explain why or say, "I had a hard day at work today. I need three minutes to change then I can play with you."

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!* Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.

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