Five Ways to Turn Daily Routines into Moments that Matter

In ParentPal’s Modeled Moments videos, real families show you simple, research-based ways to engage your child effectively throughout the day—resulting in rich moments that truly matter. Whenever you recreate one of these moments that matter, you are supporting your little one’s cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development.

As you dive deeper into ParentPal, you’ll find that our Diaper and Feed trackers provide specific suggestions, called Mini Minutes, that align with many of our Modeled Moments. This makes it even easier for you to integrate these expert parenting tips into your daily routine.

We’ve connected five Modeled Moments with related Mini Minutes to show how to easily turn what could be humdrum routines into moments that matter.

1. Build cognitive skills

The Modeled Moments video, “Which Toy?” suggests showing baby a few toys, describing each one, and then allowing baby to choose which toy will be the favorite for the day.

A Diaper Mini Minute suggests offering your little one a choice of two objects, even if they are very similar. “Would you like to wear this diaper or that one?”

2. Build language skills

The “Self Talk” Modeled Moments video suggests talking out loud to yourself whenever your little one is nearby. By doing so, you expose baby to the sounds and patterns of language. For example, “I’m folding the laundry that I just washed. It smells so clean and fresh!”

A Diaper Mini Minute suggests narrating your actions using short sentences. “I am taking off your diaper. Now I am cleaning your body. Here is a clean diaper to wear.”

A Feed Mini Minute suggests that you describe something you see as your baby eats. “I see a bird sitting on the window sill. It has red feathers. I like its yellow beak.” Or, you can simply describe any movements baby makes. “You are kicking my arm with your feet! Kick, kick!” Or, “I feel you squeezing my finger with your hand.”

3. Build fine-motor skills

The Modeled Moments video “Grasp and Grab” suggests that the park is a great place to give your baby the opportunity to strengthen hand-eye coordination. “While holding your baby, encourage him or her to reach out and grasp the bars and other equipment.”

A Feed Mini Minute suggests that you place a sponge in a dish of shallow water. Then, invite your little one to grasp and squeeze the sponge before you use it to clean the highchair tray.

4. Build math skills

The “Nesting Bowls” Modeled Moments video suggests giving your child some measuring cups or nesting bowls for instant math play. “Model how to stack them in order, naming them small, medium, or large. Then, give your child a chance to try it.”

A Feed Mini Minute suggests placing cups or small bowls of varying sizes in front of your child while eating. “Encourage him or her to nest and stack the cups. Describe your child’s actions.”

5. Build reasoning skills

The Modeled Moments video “Pattern Play” suggests you play with patterns as you lift your baby up, up, down, up, up, down. Then, you’re encouraged to try other patterns like tickle, clap, clap, tickle, clap, clap. When the brain recognizes a pattern, it can associate that pattern with specific things, leading to the ability to make analogies.

A Feed Mini Minute suggests introducing a feeding pattern. “Here’s a taste of applesauce. Now, some oatmeal. Next a spoonful of applesauce. And here’s a spoonful of oatmeal.”

A Diaper Mini Minute suggests you talk about any patterns that you notice on baby’s clothes or on nearby objects. “Your bumblebee shirt is black, yellow, black, yellow.”


Mini Minutes help infuse learning opportunities into daily routines.


Download the ParentPal app to try Mini Minutes and Modeled Moments today.