Encouraging Development at Home

Encouraging development at home is essential to the growth and success of your child. Creating a stable home with routines and support is essential to helping your infant or toddler develop through learning and exploring. After all, the first three years after birth are the most important for growth and development.


Why is Encouraging Development Significant?


In the first three years of life, your infant creates complex neural pathways at an accelerated speed. These early experiences are essential as they lay the foundation for a child’s future survival, growth, health, and well-being. Whether the experiences are good or bad, both are important.


Development is also essential because it teaches your child all different skills, even if you aren’t focusing on that skill specifically at that time. For example, you may be reading with your toddler, but they end up learning how to be patient before moving on to their favorite part of the story.


Ways to Encourage Toddler Development at Home


  • Focus on love and manage your stress
  • Talk, sing, and point
  • Count, group, compare
  • Explore through movement and play
  • Read and discuss stories


Focus On Love and Manage Your Stress


Focusing on love is very important for the development of your infant or toddler. It is not possible to offer too much of your love to your child. The act of love provides feelings of safety which is one of a toddler’s needs. That feeling of safety has also been known to have a lasting influence on development.


It is also essential to manage your stress. Infants sense stress and respond to it. Therefore, moms and dads must prioritize and care for themselves to prevent passing their stress onto their infants. Parents who work to manage stress end up create a healthier environment for their children.



Talk, Sing, and Point


Many infants can point before they even start talking. The act of pointing helps the infant start to associate words with objects. Continue to point while talking and even singing to your infant to teach them different objects and shapes, which is beneficial for their development. Infants need constant attention to keep their development on the right path.


Count, Group, Compare


Numeracy is a crucial learning step for your infant or toddler’s development. There is research that shows that infants are born with math abilities. They love numbers and counting. You can introduce your infant or toddler to math by using sentences to compare things. Your toddler needs to hear numbers in conversations, for example, “There are two apples but only one banana.”


Explore Through Movement and Play


Your infant or toddler may constantly be playing with toys, picking things up and feeling their shape, or using their fingers to point at their toys which is crucial to their development. It also shows the parent that while their child is playing, they are also learning and growing simultaneously. If you choose to play with your child, this also teaches them how to share their toys with you.


Read and Discuss Stories


It is never too early to start reading to your infant. Hearing words increases vocabulary, and relating objects to sounds creates connections in their brain. It is also helpful if objects from the story, such as a cat, are also in your home. Point out the cat in the story and the cat in your home.


While that is not a common thing parents usually remember to point out when reading, it is an excellent skill for growth and your infants’ development. First, when you start reading habits so early on makes it part of the routine. Then, when your infant is a toddler, it becomes something they look forward to in their daily routine.


What are Three Ways I Can Continue to Encourage Development as My Child Gets Older?


  • Arts & Crafts
  • Self-Esteem
  • Communication


Arts & Crafts


Arts and crafts are a fantastic way to promote and continue your toddler’s development. Art allows your toddler to develop their creativity. Creativity is meant to unleash your toddler’s thinking, exploring, discovering, and imagination skills.


When you allow your toddler to express their creativity, you are allowing them to express themselves. Not only is it imperative to let your child express who they are, but this also teaches your child how to express and ultimately cope with their feelings.




Self-Esteem is crucial to your toddler’s development. Though you may not think of this as something that needs to be addressed early on, it is essential to positive development and growth. For example, if your toddler is expressing themselves through art, it allows them to take pride in their work and build confidence.


When toddlers try new things, it develops many different skills. For example, are they waiting for the paint to dry? Waiting teaches them self-regulation skills. This will benefit your toddler’s developmental skills when they eventually go off to school or daycare.




Communication is probably the most crucial part of encouraging development and meeting your infant’s needs. Communication between you and your toddler is imperative, even if it’s simple sentences. You can focus on your toddler’s needs by talking to them about how they feel, what they think, and other things they care about.


To start this communication, you can easily pick something out of a book that you are reading to talk to your child, or you can talk about the artwork they just completed. You can also use toys or objects to introduce the conversation and keep the flow of communication going.


How Do I Promote Physical Development at Home?


While your toddler’s mental and emotional development at home is essential, physical development is just as crucial to their growth and success.


Different Types of Physical Development


  • Create a play environment
  • Stretch
  • Walk or Hike
  • Rolling Games
  • Helping with chores


Play! Provide your child a play environment that encourages time and space for energetic and noisy play! If you have an infant, a pack and play is an excellent option once they can sit up. If you have an energetic toddler, you could create a fun obstacle course in a large room or the yard for them to navigate!


Daily stretching! Make it an activity you do together.  Each morning when you wake up, you stretch with your toddler. Wiggle your toes, feet, arms, legs, and fingers. It will feel good and get your toddler moving to start the day.


Walk or Hike! This is always a great way to promote physical development. Turn it into a family event after dinner each night. If you can’t go for a walk, walk around the yard pointing at things you see in the sky or the trees with your toddler or while holding your infant.


Roll Around! Practicing rolling and different ways to roll around with your toddler is another fantastic benefit for physical development. You can roll in any direction, fast or slow, with one arm up or down. While your child may not know they are gaining excellent physical skills while rolling around, they are having a ton of fun!


Do Chores! Helping with chores can promote physical development, depending on the chore! For example, ask your child to wash the dishes with you! It gets their arms moving, and they are learning to help around the house. Do they have a small broom? Have them help you sweep!


Encouraging toddler development at home is essential to meeting the needs of your infant and setting them up for future success. Since infant and toddler development starts at such an early age, it is crucial to set your schedule and routine early on and stick with it.


Don’t forget that infant and toddler development comes in all different forms. It is important to encourage physical, mental, and emotional development. Promoting all forms of development from birth sets your child up for future success and helps them with milestones throughout their life.