To many school-age children, language and math are subjects learned in the classroom. The integral role of these skills in everyday life is sometimes overlooked. However, the thought processes required for language and math are the building blocks for nearly all other skills. The earlier a child begins to master these skills, the more adept they will be at future learning.
Language development involves both expression and comprehension. Language expression is the ability to produce sounds that are used to express a child's needs and thoughts, while language comprehension is the ability to understand others. Activities such as listening, singing, repeating, reading, and speaking all promote language development. A child's language develops rapidly when they are surrounded with both the spoken and written word.
Here are some things you can do to promote the development of language skills:
Math skills are developed as children interact with objects. Concepts such as size, shape, form, numbers, sequencing, and grouping are all included in this category.
Keep in mind that the early years in a child's development are the most critical; whatever you can do to enhance the learning process in these years will provide a head start for your child in the future.
Kids Health—Nemours Foundation
Mental Health America
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
Children's Mental Health Ontario
Activities to encourage speech and language development. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/parent-stim-activities.htm. Accessed July 15, 2016.
Help your child develop early math skills. Zero to Three website. Available at: http://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/early-development/supporting-early-math-skills.html. Updated February 25, 2016. Accessed July 15, 2016.
Speech and language development milestones. National Institute on Deaf and Other Communicative Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/speechandlanguage.aspx. Updated April 30, 2014. Accessed July 15, 2016.
Your child's communication: kindergarten. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/kindergarten.htm. Accessed July 15, 2016.
Last reviewed July 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 8/6/2014