Your child’s experiences in the first few years of life helps shape how their brain develops. Their abilities, like movement, language and emotion, develop in different parts of the brain and at different rates. Each experience with parents, family members and caregivers helps build brain connections during this crucial time of development.
Steps is a major initiative in Michigan to provide you with tips, infographics, articles, and information. We created this initiative because the early learning that takes place from prenatal to age three are so important. The steps you take during these early years shape a child’s future health, happiness, learning, and success in life. They are simple steps, like talking to them, interacting with them, reading, singing, and playing with them daily.
To help families know the steps to take to their children a great start on life, we put together this tool kit. It walks you through how to take small steps at each age of your child’s development. These are simple things you can do with your child every day to make a big impact on their success in school and later in life. All materials are available for free. We invite you to download them, use them, and share them. Here is what you will find in this kit:
The Steps brochure will give you a quick overview about why early learning is so important and the steps you can take to help your child be the best possible version of themselves. You are the most important teacher your child will ever have. This is the most crucial stage in your child’s development. The Arabic Brochure and Spanish Brochure are also available.
We have provided you with a series of milestones checklists to view at each stage of your child’s development, from age two months through three years. Each list outlines the things most children do by each age in the following areas:
The Steps infographics outline key information on early learning and development for your child. The infographics cover everything from early learning steps, to the importance of play, to ways to support language.
Learn about why early learning is important for your child and the benefits it gives them.
Learn how your child’s brain develops during the early years and what you can do to help.
Learn ways to support social and emotional health.
Learn steps to help build your child’s brain during the time 80% of the brain develops, from birth to three.
Learn how you can support your child’s language and literacy development, helping them build strong brain connections while learning to communicate.
Here are 4 ways you can make your child’s play both fun and educational. Having fun is good for your heart, good for your health, and good for helping your child learn.
Your child benefits when you read to them beginning when they are babies. Learn how they benefit and learn how to get the most out of reading to your child.
Learn the ways playing helps children develop brain connections, learn about the world around them and develop socially.
Learn ways to create back and forth interactions with your child that help them grow strong brain connections.
Learn what you can do to give your baby a healthy smile, even before you can see their tiny teeth.
Learn how to care for your child’s teeth at the different age milestones from birth to one year old.
You can easily create early learning moments with your child by working them into your daily schedule. This list has 15 ideas for learning moments. You or anyone who spends time with your child can do these simple activities. You can also get 15 Daily Activities in Arabic and 15 Daily Activities in Spanish. The activities cover four areas of your child’s development:
Even when your child is a baby or toddler, there are things you can do now that will have a big impact on how ready they are for preschool, kindergarten and beyond. The skills they learn now will be the foundation for their future learning. Find out what you can do in these early years to get them ready for school success. You can also get the School Readiness Guide in Arabic and the School Readiness Guide in Spanish.
For an easy way to keep track of when your child should reach certain milestones, download the free CDC Milestones Tracker app in the Apple App Store or on Google Play available in English and Spanish. The App also includes activities and learning tips for each age and an area where you can keep track of all your trips to the doctor.
There is an entire section of this website dedicated to providing your family with helpful tips, resources and programs for infants, ages birth to 12 months, including:
There is also a section of this website dedicated to providing your family with helpful tips, resources and programs for toddlers; including:
Find resources by different age groups, videos for parents, a baby games calendar, baby’s first year milestone guide and more from Pathways.org
Find play activities, ways to help your child thrive, ways to learn and grow at each milestone and more.