state ranking childhood development

State Stack Up in Early Childhood Development

So this is a little late in my plans on posting, but here is an interesting quick find way to examine how your state stacks up in early childhood development. It looks at specific age groups, but ranks states based on the zero to 18 age bracket.

By State Early Childhood DevelopmentIt looks at things like the population in this age group like: childcare, unemployed families, low income levels, screenings, size of babies at birth, immunizations, loss of jobs, reading with children, intervention, and federal care. It also ranks the states with the top 9 being:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Vermont
  3. Iowa
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Minnesota
  6. North Dakota
  7. Connecticut
  8. New Jersey
  9. Virginia

The Last 5 in well-being for children 0-18 are:

46. Arizona
47. Louisianan
48. Nevada
49. New Mexico
50. Mississippi

massachusetts state facts

As you can see, there is also national  numbers on these data. So although Mississippi has a lower population than Massachusetts, it still falls behind in lots of the ares. Some important things to note from looking at these child development fact sheets. Poverty matters. Programs matter. Reading with your children matters. So although some of the information applies directly to the state, it also can be changed by the parent. This means we not only need to elect government officials that fight for this next generation. We also need to help steer the population ourselves.

If you are interested, go check out your states date. There are four pages worth of information, so it’s not only ranking child well-being by state. It is also showing you what these ranks are based on and what we can do better to improve the lives of our children.

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fine motor skills

Fine Motor Skills: Milestones Checklist, 0-2 yrs

Fine motor skills are an important part of child development. They prepare children not only for writing, an everyday skill, but also for eating, dressing, and other important self-help skills. Here are some skills your child 0-2 years old should be exhibiting:

Birth to 3 months

  • Hand to Mouth
  • Reflexive grasp (Place a finger in your child’s palm. Child should automatically hold your finger)
  • Visually Tracking High contrast toys (Red, black, and white have been shown to be the most intriguing to this group). Tracking center (midline) to side (both left and right)

3-6 months

  • Swipes at dangling objects
  • Follows moving objects with eyes (3-5 seconds is a typical attention span)
  • Recognizes bottle
  • Grasp and shakes rattle

6-9 months

  • Raking small objects
  • Clapping
  • Poking finger in hole
  • Transfer object from one hand to another
  • Explores toys with hands and mouth

9-12 months

  • Pincer grasp (a three finger approach to picking up things like cheerios)
  • Removes socks
  • Removes 2-3 pegs from peg board
  • Puts objects in and takes them out of containers
  • 30 second visual and auditory attention span

fine motor skills

12-24 months

  • Opens book, turns single page
  • Tapping spoon
  • Helps with dressing
  • Plays quietly 5-10 minutes
  • 5 minute plus attention span with a single toy
  • Stacks 2-6 blocks
  • Dumps objects out of a container
  • Scribbles in imitation of vertical stroke
  • Inserts three shapes into shape sorter
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speech and language milestones

Speech and Language Milestones: Birth through Kinder

Speech and language milestones are important little snippets that give us insight into how a child is developing. If your child is falling behind, they might just need a little help to achieve more. It might be a sign of some larger problem, but there is also a great chance that if you address their language now they will be ready to learn in school. Here are some great speech and language milestones to look for:

9 months- Produces long chains of consonant-vowel combinations

12 to 18 months- Identifies up to 6 body parts; Asks for “more”; Says 8-15 words; Follows one step commands; Uses the t, d, n, and h sounds

18 to 24 months- Imitates environmental noises; Uses 50 words; Uses me, my, mine; Uses 2 word phrases; Understands action words

2 to 3 years- Responds to WH questions, Responds to greeting, Expresses physical states (like tired, thirsty); Identifies 4 object by function (like, What do you eat with?)

3 to 5 years- Follows two step unrelated commands (like, put away the book and close the door); Uses the consonants: m, p,b,k,g,v,sh,ch; speaks intelligibility 90-100% with unfamiliar listener; answers yes/no correctly

speech and language milestones


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great toddler books

27 Great Picture Books: What to Read with Your Kids

Children’s picture books are a great way to engage kids of all ages into literature. They can teach so much. The illustrations can draw them in, while great text can truly add to it. You can start reading to your children before they are even out of the womb and can continue as long as they let you. Make sure to engage them by asking questions about the pictures and plot. Have the kids make predictions, and check to see that they are not only paying attention but also understand what is happening in the story. Here are some great stories:great series reads

These are all great series style reads

Who doesn’t love Froggy. This Froggy picture book is “Froggy goes to School” by Jonathan London, but the whole series is loved in our house. Mercer Mayer books are also great! This one is “Just Me and My Mom,” but my son loves them all. “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff is another classic. It’s repetitive, simplistic nature seems to be a hit with kids everywhere. “”The Night Before Summer Vacation” by Natasha Wig is similar to “The Night Before Christmas.” We also have “The Night Before Valentine’s Day.” They all are a hit and there are many more in the collection of the old school classic. Of course you can never go wrong with Dr. Seuss, and there are so many fantastic one’s to chose from I could of just had a section dedicated to him. I chose “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” but my son might of just went with “Hop on Pop” or one of the other classics.

Stand Alone Great Picture Books

big bad wolf “Big Bad Wolf” by Claire Masurel is the only picture book on here with a silly extra feature of page hole punch outs to see through to the next page. It is all about how people think the wolf is bad and scary, but really he just plays with his own kids. Very cutely written and a nice way to debunk scary monster myths with the kiddos.

picture books This is part of another book, but I just love it on its own. “Edward the Emu” by Sheena Knowles is an adorable rhyming story about an Emu finding appreciation for itself. Eric Carle’s Books could of also gone in the series ones as they are adored classics. This one is “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin, Jr. is an alphabet loving kids highlight.”The Caterpillar and the Polliwog” by Jack Kent” is a great story about discovering one’s true purpose. “Through the Heart of the Jungle” by Jonathan Emmett has both repetition and discovery as to what could be lurking around the corner of the jungle. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch is sure to melt anyone’s heart.

picute books school

“I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More” by Karen Beaumont is a silly picture book fully of great opportunities to teach little ones about body parts.


“Wee Sing & Learn ABC” by Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp is full of alphabet fun. “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown is a story of the ages. “The Little Engine the Could” by Watty Piper is great for anyone in trains. What is not to love. “Eggbert: the Slightly Cracked Egg” by Tom Ross is about an Egg that has to find its purpose in life and finds out the being different isn’t so bad. “Snug as a Bug” by Michael Elsohn Ross is as cute as it sounds. “On Top of Spaghetti” by Paul Brett Johnson is a fun book, especially if you like to read with accents 😉

picute books

“Cars Galore” by Peter Stein is great for your little cars lover. Pete the Cat definitely could have gone in series. He’s a classic series cat that kids are sure to love. “I Love you All Day Long” by Francesca Rusackas is an adorable story that let’s your kids know you love them even when when you are not with them.

picture books

“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein is a story that lives for generations. “On the Moon” by Stan and Jan Berenstain is great for little explores. “It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny” by Marilyn Sadler explores why maybe life isn’t so bad at home.”Barnyard Dance” by Sandra Boynton is great even for the very littles. “Potty” by Leslie Patricelli was my child’s favorite potty training book. Years later, he still thinks it’s funny.

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