Each day, your child is bathed in sensations—sights and sounds, objects touched and held, food tasted…even the smell of stinky diapers.
Imagine experiencing the world through a baby’s senses—some sensations familiar, but so many others being experienced for the first time. The familiar sensations provide predictability, helping your child to feel secure and develop trust. The new ones stimulate curiosity and a desire to explore.
The combination of physical, emotional, and social conditions that surround your child is his or her environment, and you’re the chief architect of this space. What color is your child’s room? How often do you go outdoors together? What music is your child first exposed to? Which books and toys do you use during storytime and playtime? This steady stream of little decisions collectively shapes your child’s development.
Three tips for creating a rich, dynamic environment for your child
Creating a dynamic environment to meet your child’s ever-changing needs involves doing three things, all within your reach.
- Know your child. Gather a little basic knowledge; then, commit to being both an active observer of, and participant in, your child’s journey through developmental milestones and early learning. In other words, understand where your child is developmentally and update the environment to keep pace.
- Manage the environment. Create a thoughtful space with equal measures of love, areas for routines and experiences, active engagement with your child (doing things together), and the right physical objects (toys, books, accessories). Half of great parenting is being a good facility manager.
- Create structure each day. This helps your child intuitively feel a sense of order, and with it, the joy of anticipating favorite things and the confidence to explore new things. The other half of great parenting is being a well-organized tour guide.
Learning to trust the environment you have created allows your little one the growing confidence to make discoveries, care about others, and begin to imagine being independent and capable through a natural process of expanding curiosity.