On the Zero to Three Website Page, which I've linked to in my Grand links to the right on this page, there is an illustration of a brain, labeled the Baby Brain Map. Each area is highlighted with it's specific function: Movement, Language, Learning and Cognition, and Social and Emotional. Next to it there is a scroll down to select an age starting in the Prenatal development stage and going up to 36 months. Here's one of the questions proposed to Learning and Cognition. Should I provide a preschool curriculum for my 2-3 year old to help increase brain capacity and give them a head start in learning?
The book "Infants and Toddlers and Caregivers " points out, "you can't just educate the mind because their is no way to separate intellectual needs from other needs at this beginning level."
"It is within the context of nurturing relationships and daily interactions around care giving and free play that exercise a toddler's brain. The following is what is recommended for Toddler Curriculum. Become a good observer of toddler's social play. Develop your sense of timing about when to step in and when to remain an observer. You can support their problem-solving skills by providing scaffolding. This means letting children figure things out and do as much as they can on their own, but stepping in to give some help before they get frustrated and give up. It is a balance of providing just the right support at the right time, but not so much that you interfere with their budding skills."
Good advice for the day caring grandparent of the toddler (and oh yes this advice is also good for us grandparents in our dealings with our adult children who are in the 'toddler stage' of being new parents.)