Supporting Your Young Child's Development

Children are constantly developing, even during stressful times, and it is important to continue supporting your child in their growth and development to the best of your ability. Below are a few tips and activities to support your child’s development, based on resources from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. To learn more about child development and COVID-19, see the Center’s infographic.

  • Serve and return.” When your young child “serves” up a chance to engage--such as making movements, sounds, facial expressions, or gestures--you can “return” that engagement with attention and encouragement.

  • Executive function and self-regulation.” It is important for children to develop skills in working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. Skills in these areas help children hold onto and use information they acquire, focus or refocus their attention based on demand, and set priorities and minimize impulsive behavior. Here are links to activities that you can do with your child to facilitate development of these skills based on their age (from a full activity guide for children of all ages):

Please also see the following section on “Stress Management and Resiliency-Building.”

References