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3 Activities to Support Development from Birth to 3

Sally goldberg author spotlight blog header

Sally Goldberg, PhD, well known for her tools and strategies for self-esteem development and author of Fun Baby Learning Games: Activities to Support Development in Infants, Toddlers, and Two-Year Olds, shares three activities to support development from birth to age three. These simple games are designed to boost cognitive development for each age group, all while providing nurturing support for bonding and attachment. Sally Goldberg explains how both of these factors are extremely important in child development, and can reduce the likelihood that children will participate in crime and violence in the future. A little loving guidance in the first three years of life goes a long way!


Hi, I'm Sally Goldberg, author of Fun Baby Learning Games. Way more than fun! If I told you that the 200 activities embedded within the pages of this book had the power to stop crime and violence, and also avoid many other adult difficulties, you would say I was crazy. But in reality, they do! 

Come back in time with me to 1994. The Carnegie Commission did a multi-million dollar study to find out why we had so much crime and violence at that time. They studied the prison system. They looked at what was happening to young adults and teens. They looked at all the influences that were coming at people in those times, and much to their surprise, they found out it was because of what happened to those people in the first three years. All were deprived of nurturing, love, guidance, support, protection, and educational enrichment. The research kept coming, supporting that very same idea. 

In this book of 200 activities, the first 100 are in the first year, 50 in the second, and 50 in the third. What makes these activities so magical? It's the combination of promoting development at the proper age and stage way, and combined with the bonding and attachment that takes place at the same time. 

Activities for the First Year 

Watch this. This is the position for nursing, bottle feeding too (it's very important), and even for that activity—“Rock-a-bye Baby”. It's the exact right position for the baby to connect with the mother, and to see the baby's face in the right way.

Look at this. This is a rattle from 1997 before we got onto the idea that rattles should no longer be like this—blocking what makes the noise—and become more like this—showing the baby what's making the noise that they hear. 

Activities for the Second Year

How about “please and thank you” in the second year? How do children learn to say “please and thank you”? Because they hear you say “please and thank you” to them. For example, lay out some toys, a little doll, a napkin, a spoon, a paper cup, and start your activity. “Please give me the spoon, and thank you very much. Please hand me the napkin. Thank you very much! Please, can I have that small toy? Thank you very much!” “Please” shows respect to the person that you're talking to, and “thank you” shows appreciation. 

Reading time—everybody loves reading time! But did you know, according to the activity, it should be at the same time every day? That's routine, and that helps concentration. That also lays down discipline, just from something so simple as having a regular reading time.

Activities for the Third Year

Third year. “Look at me! What do you see? I see a happy face. I see a gray dress. I see beautifully combed hair.” Look at each other. See what you can see and be sure to say it! This is very self-esteem building! 

And then “follow me”. You're always telling the babies, the young children what to do. Now they can tell you “follow me”, and you do the following.

Are these toys magical learning tools? Magic—it's real!