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Mother, father with two children

The role of gestures in a child's learning

Many of us speak with our hands and now experts suggest always using our hands when talking with children. While young children are forming and expanding their vocabulary, gestures help them bridge the gap between words and the world they live in.

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Mothers and their children in a sensory play group

Play: How and why to play with your child

Parents have an important role in growing their child’s imagination through play which enhances their thinking later in life. Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer says her work shows how important it is for carers to play in new ways with their children.

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Couple talking with adopted son while he plays

Helping children build language skills

David Loyst has been studying and teaching about parenting for over 30 years as a speech language pathologist, autism consultant, and parent coach. He says it helps to think not just about language development, but ‘expressive’ language development.

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Litte girl playing at being a carpenter

Supporting toddlers’ pretend play

While it is easy to overlook the importance of make believe play, the ability to pretend is a cornerstone of children’s cognitive development. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi looks at why it is important and how we can encourage it.

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Let’s chat! Conversations with infants

While babies are born with an innate ability to tune into language, their language development is shaped by the kinds of interactions they experience from birth. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi looks at the importance of conversation.

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Little boy playing with an abacus

Quality programs for birth to threes

Many parents are anxious about sending very young children to a long-day-care centre. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi answers the questions: Should parents be worried? What does research tell us about the impact on very young children?

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Father and son are spending time in the living room

Conversation skills: Teaching preschoolers

While conversing as adults can seem natural, for a preschool child, communicating ideas and knowing the rules of conversation is a new skill. Associate Professor Tricia Eadie explains that conversation underpins key social skills such as playing.

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Boy in school uniform playing soccer alone in the school yard

Boys lagging behind when school starts

What role do biology and society play in boys not being as developmentally ready to start school as girls? Right from birth, boys and girls don’t begin life on the same starting block. The impact of this is a question researchers are trying to unravel.

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