Brains grow the most before kindergarten.

It’s critical to help build a child’s brain with high-quality interactions to make sure their future is bright—at home, in the classroom, and as Utah’s leaders of tomorrow.

There are five ways we can help prepare our kids for the future before they turn 5 years old.

Love + Talk + Read + Count + Play

  • Love

    Children thrive when they feel loved and when their world feels safe and predictable. Express your love for your children by spending time with them—your loving interactions lead to healthy emotional growth and create a foundation for learning.

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  • Talk

    Back-and-forth interactions with children contributes to their brain development. From the moment they’re born—and long before they can talk, children’s brains light up and grow when they are spoken to. So chat about anything, like your day, their food, or what’s around them. And respond to them even when they’re just making sounds. Having simple conversations with your children while they are young will affect their brains for the rest of their lives.

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  • Read

    Reading aloud to children is one of the most important things you can do to prepare them for school—but it can also help them before they’re learning to read. Even newborns can enjoy and benefit from books. Reading stories and talking about what is on the pages sparks imagination and helps children develop important language skills.

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  • Count

    Children are born ready to understand math and they love organizing the world into numbers, sizes, and shapes. When you count fingers and toes, and compare shapes and sizes with children, you help their brains develop important problem-solving skills.

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  • Play

    Play is important! When you play with children, you’re helping them explore the world and boosting their brain growth. Playing pretend, laughing together, and crawling or running around are important parts of growth that help children develop social skills, understand language, learn problem-solving, and even practice self-control. And of course, playing together strengthens relationships. From newborn babies to toddlers and older children, there are ways to play at every phase of development.

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