First Five Years: Positive Influencing at Birth

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of First 5 California via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

When we become parents, we hope that our children will lead productive and fulfilling lives. Unfortunately for some, this is not always the outcome. Sometimes it is the result of poor social skills, unemployment, and financial difficulties. But…wait….what about the early years?

Too many parents are trying to follow all the latest trends in how to take care of baby and what toys to buy. Not only that, they are trying to keep up with the Joneses, and celebrities, for that matter. But what they forget to focus on are those important first five years of life.

Positive Influencing at Birth

Research shows 90 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life. First 5 California believes in making those years count! They are encouraging parents and caregivers to talk, read and sing to your child every day, from day one. And best of all, all of these activities don’t require a room full of the latest toys on the market!

At our home, there is no need for expensive electronic toys for little ones. In fact, I have a couple of “educational” toys, but not many. They are rarely used, as my two year old niece prefers playing with the boxes they came in. So, I choose to interact with her instead. She loves to talk, read and sing! My niece sometimes sings a little too loudly, but I’m not complaining because she can actually hold a note.

Here she is showcasing her singing skills:

Positive Influencing at Birth

One of my favorite things to do is to play “I Spy”, with my niece. It gives her a chance to look at the things around the room and pronounce what she sees. As she gets older, her vocabulary is expanding and she talks more and more.

Here she is being silly during a game of I Spy:

Positive Influencing at Birth

Another thing that I know she loves is when I spend time reading books to her before bedtime. This gives her a chance to unwind before bed. She loves to be read to, and I can’t wait for her to start reading so that she can read to me. Sometimes we even spend time singing to each other. She seems to enjoy it, and we even start a song and then complete the song for each other. I love the time we spend interacting with each other.

“Research shows that you can impact your baby’s brain development from day one. Give your baby the best start in life by talking, reading or singing – it’s never too early.”

Remember learning does not begin when children start school. It starts at home, and you don’t need a degree to help your child learn. All you need to do is to start right away. I’ve always been a fan of talking, reading and singing to babies from day one. When my niece was first born and in the NICU, I read to her whenever I could and she seemed to enjoy it. Turns out, she’s a fellow book lover like her auntie because now she brings me books to read to her.

Parents, caregivers and parents-to-be can check out the First 5 California website for information and ideas on how to interact with children ages 0 to 5. You will find many creative activities for toddlers, such as “Play Make Believe” that will help improve their memory and communication skills, and explore their imaginations.

You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter @First5CA. #talkreadsing

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of First 5 California via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

About Catherine

Catherine is a self-proclaimed "organization junkie" living in Los Angeles. She blogs about family, entertainment, food and anything else that pops into her mind.


  1. Every minute counts with kids, the early years are so important! Your niece is absolutely adorable ;) I bet she has so much fun with that game, that is a good one!

  2. Amazing that 90% of brain development is in the first five years!

  3. OMG, she is adorable. The first five years are so important. That’s where they become the people they will be. :) My little one is 4 already.

  4. Those first years are so important. It’s hard to not get caught up in the latest trends and gadgets, but good to stick to the basics and activities that inspire creativity.

  5. Melanie a/k/a CrazyMom says

    Don’t ever blink, your little ones will grow up SOOO fast and its soo important to spend as much time as you can with them.. How cute is your little Miss.. Loved her pictures… thanks for sharing

  6. Books and Music were such a big influence in my childhood. I hope to give the same to my kids.

  7. It’s incredible how much kids can learn even when they are really young. Their little minds are constantly working.

  8. I agree that so many people are trying to outdo each other and forgetting what’s truly important. What a cutie pie and sounds like a great game!!

  9. Parents need to teach as much as they can as early as they can. They soak up so much.

  10. I always felt that way too. There was so much that could be done with imagination, creativity and the simplest things!

  11. Katy Rawson says

    I love playing iSpy with my kids. It is so interesting and a chance to get an idea of how they see the world. And, Firat 5 California is a great resource and wealth of information.

  12. I love when you say to rmember that learning doesn’t begin at school! That is so important! Great post!

  13. I have always enjoyed doing fun things like crafts and such to get my kid’s imaginations going.

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