All parents want the best for their children and hope to give them a head start on intellectual development. For the most part, the best thing a parent can do for an infant or toddler is to provide a warm, loving environment so that the child feels confident to explore. Proper nutrition is also essential for health and early brain development, so make sure to discuss dietary guidelines with your physician. Beyond love and good food, parents can read to their children every day. Literacy is a foundation skill that enables people to learn anything throughout life, and reading from day 1 builds that foundation. Provide plenty of opportunities for safe, multi-sensory exploration so that toddlers can see, touch, feel, hear and taste their environment and stimulate their thinking and processing skills. Research into the effects of learning another language and making (not just listening to) music have also shown promising effects on the brain. Ultimately, every child will show his or her own interests and aptitudes—it's the parents' job to provide opportunities for growth.
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