5B45

5 Ways Parents Help Children Under Age 5 Prepare For Future

Jan 27, 2021, 7:54 PM | Updated: Jan 28, 2021, 12:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Children’s brains grow the most before they start kindergarten. That’s why KSL is introducing 5B45, a statewide early childhood development campaign designed to give parents the resources they need to prepare their kids for the future. As one Utah mom knows, it all starts at home.

Lindsay Wade has her hands full with four little kids. She has an 8-year-old daughter, Paisley, 5-year-old daughter, Ava, and one-year-old twin boys named Nixon and Beaux.

“Oh, I cried! I just knew how hard one baby was and even when I had one baby, I’d be like, ‘How do moms do twins? This is a lot of work!” Wade said.

Despite her shock, she says it’s been a rewarding experience.

“It has actually been amazing!” Wade said.

In just a year, she said her boys have grown so much.

“Oh, they are like sponges,” Wade said. “When I look back, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ I feel like they were just babies, but they grew so fast and here they are walking and getting into things and tackling each other.”

Utah State Superintendent Dr. Sydnee Dickson said a child’s earliest years are the most critical.

“We know a lot about neuroplasticity and how rapidly the brain grows and how much it can absorb,” she said. “Eighty-five perfect of their little brain development happens before five.”

That’s why KSL has partnered with the United Way and Envision Utah on a new state-wide campaign. It’s called 5B45 and highlights five simple things parents can do to prepare their children for the future before they turn five-years-old: love, talk, read, count, and play.

Dickson said each of these brain building activities is significant.

“Think about how important play is in the development of a child– their imagination, creative thinking, problem solving. These are lifelong skills,” Dickson said.

She said reading and talking to a child offers other skillsets.

“It doesn’t matter the language, using vocabulary and talking to your child from the time they’re very small, helps them absorb all those vocabulary words,” Dickson said. “We know that students pick up what they hear, so it’s not just the ideas in the books, but it’s really the rhythm of reading. It’s the opportunity to have conversations about what you’re reading.”

As Wade has learned, each of her children learn differently and have unique needs.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have instruction manuals as mothers and so [with] each kid I’m trying to learn,” she said. “They all need a different kind of love. My oldest just needs to be talked to so we talk about emotions… or Ava, she’s five, she loves a good cuddle and that’s what makes her feel loved and my boys, I think they love just by me snuggling them, too.”

At times it may seem an overwhelming responsibility for parents to be the primary teacher of a child.

“It’s a lot on a parent to think, ‘Oh man, right now, especially at the younger ages, everything they’re learning is on me,’” Wade said.

Dickson said there is no one better qualified.

“We know that our parents are our child’s first teacher and truly their most important lifelong teacher,” she reaffirmed.

Dickson said these activities don’t need to be formal, but rather simple every day interactions.

“They are elements of healthy brain development that can occur anytime, anywhere,” Dickson said. “If you are engaging your child in cooking– measuring and counting, if you’re taking a walk– skipping and singing.”

“With my boys when I’m reading them a book, if there’s a picture like on Three Little Bears, we count the ‘one, two, three little bears,’” Wade said. “I feel like all day I’m constantly teaching even if it’s just in conversation, even if I’m feeding or we’re playing.”

Dickson said this is the best way parents can prepare their children for school.

“Laying these foundational elements can really help them ease into whether it’s preschool or kindergarten, when they start formal learning,” she said. “They have an expanded vocabulary, they know how to count, they can interact with others.”

She said parents need no other prerequisites than a desire to help their child grow.

“It doesn’t matter your vocation, your language, your background, your economic status, these are five elements that truly transcend all demographics,” she said. “They don’t have to buy materials, there’s no training needed. These are just really simple– loving your child, talking to them, counting with them, reading to them and playing with them. Anybody can do that.”

Wade said watching her children learn and grow always makes the hard work worth it.

“It’s so cool to see them progress and the things that they are working hard on,” she said.

For ideas on how you can start implementing these five brain-building activities in your home at every age, visit 5B45kids.com or download the app Vroom app in the App Store or Google Play Store.

Dickson said the idea for the campaign originated a few years ago when a group of community leaders brought together by the United Way collaborated about how they could improve outcomes for families in Salt Lake City.

“We started looking at all different elements and aspects and we all came to the agreement that education is the way out of poverty, is the way to strengthen the economy, [and] is the way to improve outcomes,” Dickson explained.

Dickson said the group looked at brain research and found it made a difference to engage parents early on with the development of their children.

“The elements of growth really happen in the home and [with] the nurturing of parents,” she said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

5B45

Back to school brings changes in routines which can be hard for them to navigate. In this 5B45 repo...
Ashley Moser

Help your child ease into new routines by communicating what’s to come

We all know change can be difficult, but it can be especially challenging for our little ones. Back to school brings changes in routines which can be hard for them to navigate. In this 5B45 report, a childhood development expert offers some advice.
3 months ago
Audie Quinn, 3, has been going to classes at Kindermusik with his mom for the last nine months. (KS...
Ashley Moser

Music helps to ignite all areas of child development

Getting about a dozen toddlers to focus is not as difficult as you would expect when music is involved.
5 months ago
Childhood development experts say simple tasks like trips to the grocery store and cooking dinner a...
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Use everyday activities to teach your young children how to talk, read and count

Childhood development experts say simple tasks like trips to the grocery store and cooking dinner are perfect opportunities to teach your young children vital skills.
6 months ago
FILE: Last year, Rachel Love instantly started home-schooling her kids like many other working moms...
Ashley Moser

Childhood development experts say ‘messy play’ is important for babies and toddlers

While a parent’s instinct may be to clean up the chaos, experts say letting them get dirty as they play and explore the world is key to their development.
8 months ago
...
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Reading diverse and inclusive books teaches children empathy, experts say

Fenise Dort recognizes the power of a good book. which is why see brings her three young grandchildren to the Orem Public Library every week.
9 months ago
...
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Children can still feel love through screen time interactions, experts say 

For young children, after two years of the pandemic, more of their interactions have been on a screen than in-person.
10 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
5 Ways Parents Help Children Under Age 5 Prepare For Future