This post was sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
My daughter, Kayleigh, is almost 3 years old, so she is at that age where she is curious about everything and is constantly asking questions. She talks all day long, about anything and everything, from the moment she rises in the morning, until she passes out in my arms as I rock her to sleep at night. She has always been very interested in learning new things, and I love seeing the wonder and excitement in her eyes whenever she learns something new. I feel that early learning is so important for her development, so I do everything I can to help keep her curiosity alive. Encouraging curiosity in children has so many wonderful benefits, including leaving them feeling intellectual, valuable and unstoppable.
We love to go on outings to places the Maine Discovery Museum, where she can explore, socialize with other kids, and learn so many new things.
While it’s fun to get out of the house, we also have fun learning new things right at home. Kayleigh and I started watching an awesome television show, called Signing Time, when she was about 8 months old. It is a show that we both absolutely love, and I especially love how different it is from most other television shows that are geared towards children. Every single moment of every episode presents an opportunity for learning, not only sign language, but so much more. Kayleigh learned all of her colors, shapes, numbers, letters and more at a very young age, and I am sure watching Signing Time had a lot to do with that.
Signing Time, as well as its sister-show, Rachel and the Treeschoolers, have really left an impact on our lives, and I love to share them with other people whenever I can. They are such a great learning resource for kids, and even adults! Just by watching these shows, I have been able to learn a great deal of sign language in my 30’s, without even taking a class. It’s never too late to learn something new!
In addition to watching educational shows like Signing Time and Rachel and the Treeschoolers, we read a lot of books. Kayleigh’s favorite books are the ones that have photos of various items with labels underneath them. She loves to point to the images and tell me what each one is. We are currently working on learning the different types of dinosaurs. It is so fun to hear her try to pronounce names like Brachiosaurus or Iguanodon.
Did you know that 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their home for their children?1 That is just so unbelievable to me. I can’t imagine my children growing up without access to books at home. They are such an important learning resource.
In middle-income neighborhoods, the ratio of age-appropriate books per child is 13 to 1, while in low-income neighborhoods, it is only 1 book for every 300 children!2
It is so heartbreaking to know that there are so many children out there who are not being given access to the tools they need to learn, or the opportunity to build their imaginations. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is working hard to change that with their #SparkAMind initiative. They believe that everyday moments can spark curiosity and stimulate the mind in an instant, and these individual moments of curiosity add up to something much bigger – a lifetime of learning.
I am really excited about the #SparkAMind initiative, and it’s really easy for you to get involved too! All you have to do is use the hashtag #SparkAMind on social media, and it will appear on the #SparkAMind mini-site for everyone to share. You can do a search for the hashtag on social media or on the campaign website to read ways others are encouraging learning, too. Every time someone uses #SparkAMind on social media, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will donate a children’s book to an early learning organization. How great is that?!
You can also introduce your own kids to a great learning resource with the Curious World app from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is an early learning app designed for kids, aged 3-7, and you can get a 20% discount on the membership here! which is an early learning app designed for kids ages 3-7. This app has over 500 fun and educational games, videos and books available for your child to learn from.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt #SparkAMind website: spr.ly/6017BbZZc
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1Reading Literacy in the United States, 1996.
2Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006, p. 31.