Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers: Issue No.66 November 2016

What is Happening to Fine Motor Development?

In recent years a growing number of children are “arriving at school lacking in basic fine motor skills.” This is a huge problem because if the young student does not have the finger strength and coordination to hold a pencil, for example, they will struggle to master current kindergarten requirements. Like large motor development, fine motor skills develop progressively, beginning in the earliest years of childhood. Young children who spend too much time “swiping and tapping” electronic devices, instead of playing with manipulative toys or coloring with crayons, struggle with poor hand control and weak pencil grip in school. This article will help educators and family members to consider a return to the time-tested play materials of childhood—blocks, play dough, beads, and crayons—to best prepare children for school


Let’s Talk About It: 5 Ways to Build Babies’ Language and Communication Skills from Birth 

Talking with babies doesn’t just build vocabularies; it also nurtures the development of cognitive and social-emotional skills, now and into your baby’s future. Tuning In, a national survey of Gen X and Millennial families conducted by ZERO TO THREE, showed that many younger family members aren’t aware of the huge benefits of talking with babies in the first year of life. This article from ZERO TO THREE shares five ways to build strong language skills from birth.

 

Responding to Your Child’s Bite

Many toddlers and young children bite. Developmentally, most toddlers don’t have enough words to express how they are feeling. They primarily rely on sounds and actions to communicate what they are thinking and feeling.  Biting is one of the ways toddlers express their needs, desires, or feelings.

This resource provides an evidence-based overview of why young children bite, what to do, what not to do, and when to seek professional help.

 

Brain Activity Map Reveals How Infant Vision Develops

Visual functions start to develop soon after birth and continue maturing over time as infants gain experience with the world. However, direct evidence of how this maturation process unfolds in the brain has been lacking. This article notes a new study that provides a direct window into the maturation of vision-related areas of the cortex in the first weeks of life, showing that the visual brain of 7-week-old babies is surprisingly mature.

 

Free Recorded Webinars from the Early Head Start National Resource Center

Looking for great free instructional resources? Check out this collection of archived webinars. You’ll find recordings on topics such as 1) Building a Dynamic Brain: The Influences of Music, Movement, and Nutrition, 2) Reflective Curriculum Planning for Infants and Toddlers, 3) The Impact of Trauma and Toxic Stress on Infant and Toddler Development, or 4) Supporting Babies with Disabilities. Go to the website below to find a recorded sequence of professional development on these and other topics.


Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features resources that are high quality, readily available and free.  To join the listserv, send an email with no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.edu   To suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at camille.catlett@unc.edu

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