Provide a Stimulating Learning Environment for Your Baby, Toddler or Preschooler

Throughout all the phases a total view of spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social development should be kept in mind.

The focus may shift in seasons, e.g. during the baby phase the focus is on physical development; in the foundation phase there is the intellectual and emotional development; later on the social development has its place and so on.

Even during one phase there may be changes in focus. Do not worry too much, rather just trust your instincts and ask for wisdom continuously.

Primary goals for this stage

1. Provide a stimulating environment (loving, nurturing relationships and space to move around and explore) for the following areas to develop:

  • Physical development, including gross motor and fine motor skills, as well as all sensory skills (seeing, hearing, smell, feel, and taste)
  • Intellectual development
  • Social development
  • Emotional development
  • Creative development
  • Perceptual development

2. Communication skills (talking and listening). To understand speech and language development milestones click on the appropriate age group for an interesting summary: 0-3yrs or 4-5yrs or 5-6yrs.

3. Learning about self and self-control, patience, kindness and to be responsible.

Ideas and concepts for this stage

During the first year with a baby in a home, the development is so quick that just as you think you understand one thing, the next phase starts and everything changes again.

So during the first year, I will recommend that the focus is to just relax and follow your instincts. Do NOT stop your life, just make adaptations where necessary.

Having a baby is physically demanding, but absolutely delightful and exciting! Try and maintain the normal house routines such as eating, playing and sleeping times.

A routine will help much in providing security for a baby.

Hold your baby often, as often as you can. Touch is the most important sensory input during a child’s first year.

Disciplining a baby is not yet the primary focus, but take care in having a safe environment for your baby to explore once (s)he is crawling.

After the first year, the challenge is to provide a stimulating environment in which your toddler can explore! This is the time when children must be allowed lots and lots of FREE PLAY.  For an article highlighting the benefits of this read here:  Real play Real learning


  • A safe environment in nature (preferably outside)
  • Tools to experiment with
  • Interaction toys with things to manipulate
  • A 3 dimensional environment to move up and down, left and right, to walk, run and climb

At Free Kindergarten Activities, you can find lots of educational and fun kindergarten lesson ideas, curriculum, games and more.

Books I have found helpful during this stage

(Available in South Africa at LOOT or otherwise at AMAZON)

1. HOW TO HAVE A SMARTER BABY, Dr. Susan Ludington-Hoe


Babies and preschooler

Beginner Foundation

Child Intermediate

Young Adult

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