Hesperian Health Guides
Which activities should I do first?
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Parents often think they need special training to plan early assistance activities for their child. But this is not so. As a parent, you know more about your child than anyone else. To decide what activities to do first, start by asking yourself questions like these:
Are there things my child cannot do that other children her age are doing?
If so, your child probably needs special help learning these skills. Choosing activities that build these skills can help a child catch up with other children.
Are there areas of my child’s development that I am particularly concerned about?
These might be ways your child lags behind other children, or they might be areas of development that are especially important to you or your family.
For more information on the ages and order in which children usually learn new skills, see the Child Development Charts.
Finding activities that can help
Once you have identified areas in which your child needs help, look at the Table of Contents to find the chapter of the book that covers this area of development. Each chapter contains information and activities to help your child learn new skills. For example :
The first activities in each chapter help a child learn the most simple skills in that area of development. Once a child has learned these skills, she can begin working on the more difficult skills described later in the chapter. If your child can already do some of the skills described, start working on the skills immediately following those she knows. If she does not know any of the skills, then start at the beginning of the chapter.
Try to work on skills in the order they appear in the chapter. This is important because children develop skills step-by-step, in a certain order. Trying to teach your child an advanced skill before she has learned the smaller, simpler skills that come first can lead to disappointment for both you and your child.