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Articles on Early childhood

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Both when planning family activities and choosing a child care provider, parents should be mindful of how much physical activity their children are getting. (Shutterstock)

Kids’ physical activity before age 5 matters so much because of the developing brain

When young children are active, their brains and bodies develop the ABCs of "physical literacy," a key developmental foundation. A new program from University of Winnipeg can help.
The interruption to young children’s learning is happening precisely at a time when developmental gains matter most. (Shutterstock)

Coronavirus school closures could widen inequities for our youngest students

Remote contact with families in the coronavirus emergency is critical, but learning on a screen is not how young children will gain the foundational and developmental skills they need.
Imagination and play encourage children to think through hypothetical situations and create new worlds — and even to develop new possibilities for our shared world. (Shutterstock)

Why it’s OK for kids to believe in Santa

For many children, the anticipation of Santa's imminent journey down the chimney to deliver gifts is nothing but magical.
A study found that asking young children aged three to four years to look at themselves in a mirror while asking them about a potential misdeed significantly increased their truth-telling. (Shutterstock)

Children’s lies are deceptively complex

To tell a lie, a child must first understand that other people can have different beliefs and knowledge than they do, and that these beliefs can be false.
Although guidelines suggest that developmental delays, including language delays, are ideally diagnosed by age three, most diagnoses don’t occur until age four or five. (Shutterstock)

New research suggests three profiles of communication delays in early childhood

Language milestones matter not as the final word, but as possible signals about where children might be struggling and how they can be best supported to reach their full potential.
The experience that babies get from eavesdropping on their mother’s conversations in utero helps their brain tune into the language that they will learn to speak once they are born. Emily Nunnell/The Conversation CC-BY-ND

Curious Kids: how do babies learn to talk?

Using a sing song voice helps babies tell the difference between words like 'mummy' or 'daddy'.
Parenting win: Your children leave home and say, ‘I loved family time when I was little. Every Friday night was dinner and games.’ Shutterstock

Boost kids’ skills and memories with weekly game night

A regular family ritual like a dinner and games night contributes to the rhythm and predictability of life and becomes part of a family's unique DNA.
Don’t fret if your kids are starting to doubt Santa’s magic. Coming to disbelieve is not particularly distressing for them and most come to their own conclusions.

The science of saying goodbye to Santa

When your kids stop believing, it's probably harder on you than on them.
Children in the Willows forest nature program in the Humber Valley in west Toronto are drawn to water and sticks, simple materials for exploring and investigating. Here the children explore water accumulated from spring rains. (Louise Zimanyi)

Wonder and wisdom in a children’s forest nature program

When parents walk in the forest with their children and us and see how children are drawn to spiral snails, together we see how connections with the land are critical for the Earth's future.

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