Sunday, October 23, 2011

Take Advantage of Halloween!





Although it’s hard to believe given that it feels like yesterday was Easter, Halloween is just around the corner. If you’re like my step-son and daughter-in-law, you’re as excited by the chance to dress up your little ones as they are! Nate, now 2 ½ , is going to be Buzz Lightyear and his twin sister Olivia is going to be Ariel from "The Little Mermaid." As the photos show, Grammy and Papa got a preview last night. What's more, there’s no doubt that, come next Monday night, the video camera will come out to record the festivities.

Which brings me to one of my favorite parenting tips. The development of good memory skills is critical to all aspects of learning. In fact, that’s what “learning “is all about—the ability to remember facts, ideas, and skills encountered in the past. Research has shown that parents contribute mightily to how early and easily children begin to hone their memory skills.

Here’s an easy and enjoyable way to support your child’s progress in this critical area. Make use of your family video footage! Whether it’s Halloween, a birthday, or just a precious moment at home, don’t just leave these recordings on the shelf to enjoy years later. Instead, watch them with your child right away. By watching video footage of special events in your child’s life soon after the recordings are made, you are providing a platform for conversations with your child about the past and providing images he or she can use to reconstruct events. It’s just such conversations with parents about the past that research shows help children begin to tie their own memories into cohesive wholes. Besides, it’s lots of fun! Every child enjoys seeing him or herself on the screen.

So, break out the popcorn, enjoy a fun time at the movies with your child, and delight in the fact that you’re helping your child hone memory skills that will serve him or her well for years to come.

Just a simple tip to make supporting your child’s intellectual development a bit easier and more fun!

Happy Signing (and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook)!

Linda

Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, the Baby Signs® Program
and
Professor Emeritus, UC Davis
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