Summer Programs at Nevada County Libraries

The Grass Valley Library in collaboration with Grass Valley School District Child Nutrition Services and the Nevada County Public Health Department are offering free, healthy lunch to all kids ages 18 and under this Summer. All lunches will be served at noon Monday through Friday until August 14th. In addition to lunch, there will also be activities for youth, including games, art projects, and science experiments. No registration is required. just show up- 207 Mill St, Grass Valley. 

Hit the Town with Summer Youth Bus Pass

Summer Youth Bus Pass

Gold Country Stage is offering a Summer Youth Pass for kids ages 6-17 years old. For $25 kids can get unlimited rides from now until August 31st.

Bus routes cover Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Penn Valley, so whether you’re interested in a frozen treat out on the town, a movie at one of our local theatres, or a dip in the pool, Gold Country Stage can get you there!

Passes are available at the Transit Services office at 13081 John Bauer Avenue in Grass Valley or at Tinloy Station (near the Gold Miner’s Inn) on the first two weekdays of the month (the next dates are July 2nd & 3rd).

You can find more information on bus routes here. Or call 211 for help planning your trip.

FREED Youth Program is the Latest CRAYYz

Creative. Resourceful. Adventurous. FREED’s got a new mantra for youth and young adults with disabilities this summer.

FREED Summer Youth Program 2018 with Full Calendar

FREED, a resource center for people with disabilities, is kicking off the summer with a new slate of activities bringing young people with disabilities together with a focus on fun. The Summer C.R.A.Y.Y.z (Creative, Resourceful, Adventurous Youth and Young Adultz—pronounced “craze”) program offers a variety of regular fun peer events, including an Artistic Hour (Mondays from 3:00 to 4:00 pm), a Leadership Team (Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm), games, movies, and time out on the town.

The fun and games are just a small part of FREED’s goal to assist young folks with disabilities to become strong, independent adults.

The organization’s new Youth Transition Program is designed specifically to connect transition age youth and young adults (ages 14 to 24) with information and services that will help them increase their independent living skills as they move from high school into adult life and responsibilities.

The program helps youth and young adults develop independent living and leadership skills through individual goal setting, peer support, application assistance, advocacy, and more.

For more information about FREED’s Youth Transition Program, contact Shaylin Bautista-Vega by phone at 530-477-3333 or by email at shay@freed.org.

Get to Know Your County with Citizen’s Academy

Sheriff MRAP 2

Nevada County is now accepting applications for its 5th annual Citizen’s Academy.

Citizen’s Academy offers a behind-the-scenes look at the ins and outs of County government. Participants will tour six County facilities and learn from over twenty department presentations covering a wide range of services from A (Agriculture) to Z (Zoning).

This is a unique opportunity to learn about the people, places, and programs that make our County government work. Have you ever wondered how the County plans for emergencies, who develops the County’s annual budget, or what it’s like to serve time in our jail? This is your chance to ask those questions and more.

Citizen’s Academy takes place on ten consecutive Monday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., starting in late August and running through early November. Specific dates and topics for each session of Citizen’s Academy can be found on Nevada County’s website or on the Citizen’s Academy flyer.

There is no cost to participate. A simple meal is provided at each session.

Applications are due July 13thApply online or drop off your printed application at the Rood Administrative Center at 950 Maidu Avenue, Suite 220, in Nevada City.

For more information, email the County’s CEO office at ceo@co.nevada.ca.us or check out the Citizen’s Academy website.

It’s Market Money Time

Market Money FlyerIt’s farmers market season and the Market Money program is back again this year to help CalFresh participants bring home the bounty.

Growers are bringing out crates full of beautiful fruits and vegetables, fresh for the picking. Starting June 2nd, CalFresh participants who spend 10 EBT dollars on market tokens will get 10 tokens free. That’s up to $10 of free veggies at every market, over and over, all season long.

To get started, bring your EBT card and photo ID over to the 211 booth at any of the markets below. We’ll match your EBT tokens up to $10. Then use your market tokens to buy fruits and veggies at participating farm stands.

Market Money is available at the following markets:

Nevada County Certified Growers’ Market
Pine Creek Shopping Center (Raley’s), Freeman Lane, Grass Valley
Tuesdays, June 5th through October 30th
9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Nevada County Certified Growers’ Market
North Star House, 12075 Auburn Road, Grass Valley
Saturdays, June 2nd through November 17th
8:00 am to 12:30 pm

Nevada City Farmers’ Market
Union Alley, Nevada City
Saturdays, June 2nd through November 17th
8:30 am to 1:00 pm

For more information about the Market Money program, contact 211 Connecting Point by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-877-847-0499).

See you at the market!

She’s Got a Golden Ticket

County Announces Free Bus Pass for Riders Age 80+

Anita's Golden Ticket

This is Anita Wald-Tuttle. In addition to being a member of our Governing Board, she is also the very first recipient of Gold Country Stage’s Golden Ticket.

All Nevada County residents age 80 years and older are eligible for this FREE lifetime pass. Pass holders receive unlimited free rides on all Gold Country Stages routes. The Golden Ticket pass is available for all Nevada County seniors with proof of age (via a valid California ID card or driver’s license).

The Golden Ticket program begins June 1st. Passes will be available at the Tinloy Transit Center the first two business days of each month and at the Transit Services office at 13081 John Bauer Avenue in Grass Valley.

For more information, contact 211 Connecting Point by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-877-847-0499).

Book Buddy Program Fights Isolation

We made this story into an eBook, click below to see!

Book Buddy e-book Cover

INTRODUCTION:

If you’ve ever had a long recovery after a medical procedure, you know just how boring life can become when you’re not able to leave the house. After a few days, you’ve read all the magazines, the TV shows blur together, and your regular internet haunts seem stale. You long for contact from the outside world.

For folks with chronic health conditions or other circumstances that prevent them from leaving their home, this boredom can quickly turn to social isolation. Many people in Nevada County, particularly seniors, go days or weeks without seeing another person and have few options for intellectual stimulation.

If you or someone you know is in this situation, it might be time to get a Book Buddy.

CHAPTER ONE: Book Buddies Bring the Library to You

“The book buddy program volunteer brings me books and conversation more important than my food and drink.”

The Book Buddy program is a service of the Nevada County Community Library. The program connects folks in Western Nevada County who are unable to get to the library with volunteer “book buddies” who bring the library to them.

Book buddies bring not just books, but also CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, and even reference materials. All items are checked out on the library patron’s card and delivered to their home, free of charge. There are no late fees for Book Buddy patrons.

Book buddies are matched with library patrons based on their schedules, location, and interests. Each patron is assigned their own personal book buddy. According to program coordinator Judith Bell, these are relationships built on a love of books.

The Book Buddy program is a personalized service, Bell said. “The patron guides it.” Patrons can request specific titles, books by favorite authors, or let their book buddy choose what to bring. Bell said she’s often surfed the stacks looking for the perfect book for her patron.

CHAPTER TWO: Eligibility

The Book Buddy program is designed to serve those who have a disability, chronic illness, or injury that prevents them from getting to the library for at least six months. There is no age restriction.

The service is available for folks living in their own homes or in a skilled nursing facility.

Because the program is individualized based on each patron’s preferences, the process starts with a meeting in the patron’s home. Book Buddy Coordinator Judith Bell interviews each patron to get a sense of what they like and don’t like, learn about their favorite genres and authors, and better understand their media preferences (like books on tape or large print materials). This helps Judith match each patron with their perfect book buddy. The result is often a relationship that lasts for years.

CHAPTER THREE: Getting Connected

If the Book Buddy program sounds like a good fit for you or someone you know, call Kathy Miller at 530-265-1407 to start the process.

Referrals can be made by family members, friends, social workers, or anyone who knows someone who can’t make it to the library.

CHAPTER FOUR: Becoming a Book Buddy

“I always look forward to seeing my book buddy and hearing what she has to say about the books that have been read.”

The Book Buddy program is always looking for volunteers who love books and want to connect with others in the community.

Book buddies provide a vital link to the outside world. Because they are often the only person a patron might see, volunteers should be upbeat, enthusiastic, and patient.

Like the program’s patrons, Book Buddy volunteers are interviewed about their interests and preferences. Book buddies are expected to give approximately four to six hours of their time each month and must provide their own transportation.

To learn more about becoming a book buddy, contact Kathy Miller at 530-265-1407.

EPILOGUE: Discovering New Worlds

The Book Buddy program improves the quality of life of folks in our community. Whether you are a patron of the program or a volunteer, this unique service can help you connect to a world beyond your own—just what a library should do.

 

 

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 10 Months

Ages & Stages Header Image

Hello Parents!

Welcome to 10-12 months! By now your baby is very busy and is starting to move around the house more. She may be crawling, standing by herself, walking while holding onto furniture, or walking well all on her own. If you have steps in the house, she may be trying to climb them. You’ve probably noticed that she loves to push and pull things. She’s strong, she’s mobile, and she’s curious: Now is a great time to “babyproof” everything around the house! Make sure to lock or block your cabinets. If you have stairs at home, think about teaching your baby to go down them on her belly feet-first.

What to Expect at 10 to 12 Months

• Your baby may be ready to try soft finger foods, like small pieces of banana. Make sure soft foods are cut into very small pieces so she can swallow them easily.
• Children at this age are just beginning to notice when two things are alike, especially shoes, socks, or toys. Hold one of the shoes or socks and ask your child to look for its match. This is a great way to promote problem solving.
• Spend a lot of time encouraging wanted behaviors rather than punishing unwanted behaviors. Use positive language and tell your child what you want him to do.
• Praise your child with hugs and kisses and recognize good behavior. Help your child recognize and understand his feelings. Give words to his feelings, like: “I see you are very frustrated” or “I can see you feel sad.” This helps your child become aware of his feelings and teaches him how to express them in a positive way.

Activities to Help your Child Grow and Learn

• Find time to go to the library or bookstore and pick up new books with your child. Story time is a great time to cuddle up and read together. Talk about what you see in the book and take turns pointing out pictures and turning pages. This is a great way to promote language development and work on your child’s fine motor skills.
• Your child can help with small jobs like putting toys away. Include him in these small daily activities and let him know that he’s an important part of the family.

Resources for Parents

We have some great resources for parents in this community, including free and low-cost parenting classes. Sierra Nevada Children’s Services and The Nest are two great places to start. Check out 211’s Children & Youth guided search page for information about all kinds of local programs for families.

Or give us a call at 2-1-1 (or 877-847-0499). We look forward to talking with you!

Sources:
ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink

Tinloy Transit Center Opens for Business

As of March 1st monthly bus passes are no longer sold on Gold Country Stage buses. So how on earth are you supposed to get your passes? You’ve got two options:

1)      You can purchase passes at the Transit Services office at 13081 John Bauer Avenue, Grass Valley. Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. This is a Route 3, Loma Rica stop if you’re riding the bus.

2)      Passes will now also be available at the Tinloy Transit Center in downtown Grass Valley on the first two weekdays of each month, 8am-5pm.

Also available at the above locations are Discount Fare ID Cards. Gold Country Stage is asking that all discount fare users get a new ID Card. These cards are available to youth 17 years and younger, seniors 65 and older, and persons with disabilities. Be sure to bring proper eligibility supporting documents. If you’re unsure which documents to bring, check out the list on the application.

Celebrate Screen-Free Week

Get ready to put down your phones, tablets, and other screen devices the week of April 30th through May 6th. Join our county and the nation in celebrating Screen-Free Week 2018. The Nevada County Public Health Department, the Nevada County Libraries, UC CalFresh, Bear Yuba Land Trust, NEO, and Sierra Harvest have joined together to bring you and your family a week of FUN!

Screen-Free Week is a fun way to step back and evaluate your family’s screen time. It is estimated that preschool children spend between two and five hours a day using electronic media. Including watching TV and looking at social media, 8-18 year-olds consume an average of 7 hours a day.

We know too much screen time can adversely affect kids’ development and behavior.  Overdoing it can reduce the amount of sleep your child receives, increase their risk for obesity later in life, and, in young children, negatively affect brain development. In people of all ages, screen-time can make it harder to fall asleep and takes time away from walking, cooking, family time, and just daydreaming.

Join the campaign to unplug, and spend the week reading, daydreaming, playing, hiking creating, exploring, and connecting with family and friends! All kinds of activities are planned for the week, including a game night at NEO for teens to kick Screen-Free Week off on Friday, April 28th; free books at the GV and NC libraries on Monday, April 30th; a story walk in downtown Nevada City hosted by the libraries; a 2-for-1 plant sale at the Food Love Project Farm, hosted by Sierra Harvest on Saturday May 5th; and much more!

Check out the calendar of activities and sign a Screen-Free pledge card to join the fun.

Space Still Available for “Yes I Can” Series

Caring for a parent, child, or close friend with a significant disability or illness is a challenge many of us will face someday. But our willingness to help does not always mean we have all the right tools or information to do this hard work.

The “Yes I Can!” series, sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, helps caregivers build the skills they need to care for themselves and their loved ones. The seven-week series, which started March 19th, provides caregivers with fundamentals for self-care, communication, personal care and nutrition, community resources, body mechanics and falls prevention, end of life care, and legal and financial issues. By the end of the course participants will be confident, empowered caregivers.

There is still room available in the class and six more weeks of tools, resources, and support for family caregivers.

Click on the above image to open a PDF of the flyer.

Details:

What: “Yes I Can!” Caregiver Education Series

When: Mondays, March 19th- April 30th, 9 am to 12 pm

Where: Eskaton Village, 49er Lounge
625 Eskaton Circle, Grass Valley

Cost: Free for non-professional caregivers

To register, please call Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center at 1-800-635-0220. If care is needed for your loved one during class, please indicate this when registering.

For more information, contact Annie Mikal at 530-264-5046 or amikalheine@gmail.com.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Are you feeling anxious, agitated, tired, irritable, depressed, angry, or sad? All of the above? Okay, you seem a little stressed . . .

The symptoms of stress can affect both your physical and mental health and have a real impact on how you think, feel, and act. Learning to see the signs of stress and having clear strategies for limiting its effects can help you to live a much healthier, happier life.

Practicing Peace: Stress Management for Life is a 4-week class designed to help you minimize the emotional and physical effects of stress and create a more peaceful approach to your current challenges. Taught by Marge Kaiser, this highly-rated class will teach participants how to overcome stress through humor, relaxation, self-care, and group support.

The free class, hosted by Connecting Point, begins April 5th and meets every Thursday through April 26th. It’s open to all Nevada County residents who need some support, strategies, and a good laugh.

Details:

What: Practicing Peace: Stress Management for Life

When: Thursdays, April 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th, 2:30-4:30 pm

Where: Connecting Point

208 Sutton Way, Grass Valley

Cost: Free! Space is limited. Call 211 to register or RSVP here.

Connecting Point offers free caregiver training to community-members. All classes are free for Nevada County residents. The slate of classes includes practical training in caregiving skills, such as lifting and transferring, universal precautions, and dementia care as well as self-care classes for caregivers.

 

Check out the Connecting Point website at www.connectingpoint.org for more information.

Get on the Move!

 

We all know that transportation is essential for independence. In a rural community like ours, getting around can be a challenge, especially for those of us who don’t drive. Lack of transportation limits our opportunities for education, employment, healthcare, and social contact. But there are options out there, and we want to help you connect with them.

Connecting Point recently received funding from Caltrans to help folks in Eastern and Western Nevada County better understand their transportation options and learn how to use them to get On the Move. Our new transportation navigator, Daniela Fernandez, has been riding the routes, talking to community members, and learning all there is to know about our local transit options. Her goal is to share all of this knowledge to demystify our bus systems and help people gain experience and confidence using public transportation.

If you are interested in travel training or public transit education, please get in touch with Daniela by phone at 530-274-5601 or by email at danielaf@connectingpoint.org.

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 8 Months

 

Hello Parents!

We hope you and your baby are enjoying new things.

This is a very active period for your baby, so safety is important. Keep small objects out of her reach and make sure to stay with her when she’s on the changing table, on a bed or couch, and when you’re giving her a bath.

Your baby is building his own personality, so you probably know his favorite foods, toys, and songs. (You’re most likely also starting to know what he doesn’t like, too). Encourage your baby to try new things to promote his development. Celebrate with a smile or clapping when he achieves something new, like rolling over or standing up.

Talk with other parents and your child’s doctor about the milestones your child has reached. They can also let you know what to expect next.

What to Expect at 8 Months

  • Your baby is now able to follow simple instructions. Try giving her directions, like “Hold the diaper,” “wash your belly,” or “show me grandma.” When she responds, make sure to let her know you notice: “Thank you for holding the diaper,” “Oh, there’s grandma.”
  • Your baby may be standing now. Place some of his favorite toys on a low table or on the ground so he can stretch and work on his balance.
  • Your baby wants your attention, and she will make different sounds to get it. Let her know you are there and listening: “Oh you’re sad. Let me help you feel better”, “You are tired, time for a nap.”
  • Ask for behaviors that you want in a positive way. For example, instead of saying “don’t stand” say “time to sit down.”

Activities to Help your Baby Grow and Learn

  • Read to your baby every day. He may like one book in particular, and that’s great; children learn by repetition. Name the colors, animals, or objects you see and ask the baby to point at them with you.
  • Place a toy or a piece of cereal in a container or a plastic bottle with no lid. As your baby works to get the toy or the cereal out, she will learn about the idea of ‘in’ and ‘out.’ Another way to show your baby ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ is to get a big box that she can crawl in and out of.
  • Encourage your baby to help you with simple tasks like picking up toys or putting away clothes. You can sing a cleanup song as you do this. This is a great way to make your baby feel included and build a sense of responsibility.

Most importantly, enjoy watching your baby grow and learn!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening all children for general development at nine months. The Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a great tool to see if your child’s development is on track. For more information about the ASQ, see our Q&A on ASQ (https://211connectingpoint.org/a-qa-on-asq/) or give us a call at 211.

 

Sources:

ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/Milestones

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 6 Months

Hello, Parents!

Welcome again. Time has passed and you are able to see big changes with your baby at this point in her development. You also may have new concerns or questions; about your parenting skills, about your child’s development, about routines, or about your child trying different foods and concerns about allergies. Reminder: It’s always okay to ask questions and talk to other parents.

What to Expect at 6 Months

  • Your baby knows his name and may use his voice to let you know when he needs attention. The baby squeals and is beginning to babble to you and others. He may make sounds like “mama” or “dada.” He is also learning to respond to “bye-bye.”
  • Your baby gets stronger every minute. She now holds her head up and looks around at everything that’s going on. She is learning to sit up, at first using her hands for balance.
  • Your baby’s grasp has relaxed now. He likes to reach and grab nearby objects, holding and banging objects and even holding something in each hand!
  • Your baby knows you very well now; the different tones of your voice will sometimes make her react with a smile or with tears knowing that you are happy or upset with her.

Activities to Help Your Baby Grow and Learn

  • Crush ice into very small pieces that your baby can eat safely. Let them explore the cold ice as it squirms around in a bowl. The crushed ice and cool fingers will feel good on their gums and new little teeth.
  • Fill a small container or tray with water and play with it together. As the baby touches the water, talk about how it feels using real words to promote language. “Oooh, the water is so cold.”
  • Rock, walk, or dance and whisper sweet words in your baby’s ear. Whispering to your baby helps her to calm down and provides another way to talk in a quiet and loving voice.
  • When your baby is awake and alert, turn off the television and other household sounds so that he can only hear your voice. This helps your baby hear the sounds of words more clearly or recognize other noises like the rain, the wind, or a bird. Ask the baby, “Can you hear the rain? Can you hear the bird?”

The ASQ (Ages & Stages Questionnaire) is a great, fun tool to help your child grow. The ASQ can also help you identify any areas where your baby may need some extra support to succeed. Remember, if you have any concerns about your child’s development there is no harm in reaching out.

Call 211 for more information.

Sources: ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink

Homeless Connect Event

Each January, communities throughout the United States conduct a Point-in-Time (PIT) count to tally the number of individuals experiencing homelessness on a single night in their area. This year, January 24th is that night, and Nevada County is holding an event on the 25th to bring folks in, give them the opportunity to connect to services, and interview them for the count.

The Homeless Connect event will be held on Thursday, January 25th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Salvation Army office in Grass Valley. Attendees will receive a free hot meal and can connect to a variety of services, such as health information, flu shots, Veteran’s services, and legal assistance.

Trained interviewers will conduct a confidential 15-minute survey with each individual who is experiencing homelessness. Those who take the survey will receive a gift for their participation.

Free transportation to the event will be provided from the following bus stops:

  • Nevada City Public Parking Lot (Rock Crusher)
  • First Baptist Church
  • Nevada City Veterans Building
  • Memorial Park
  • Tinloy Transit Center
  • Kmart Shopping Center
  • SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center

If someone you know is without shelter, camping out, or living in a vehicle, please let them know about this important event. The information collected at the Homeless Connect event will help bring additional funding and resources into our county to serve people experiencing homelessness.

Details

What: Homeless Connect Event

When: Thursday, January 25th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Where: Salvation Army, 10725 Alta Street, Grass Valley

Coordinated Entry for Homelessness Launches January 23rd

 

January 23rd is the official launch date of Nevada County’s “Coordinated Entry” system for people experiencing homelessness. Coordinated Entry is a process that ensures that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access to services. The process does two important things:

  1. It builds a centralized list of people in our community who need housing assistance to ensure that that those who need services the most receive them first.
  2. It allows participating housing providers to access the list and contact individuals who may be eligible for their services as housing resources become available.

In Nevada County, 211 is the access point for Coordinated Entry. Anyone experiencing a housing crisis can call 2-1-1 (or 877-847-0499) and speak with a call specialist who will walk them through the Coordinated Entry questions and provide referrals for shelter, food, healthcare, and other services to meet their needs. 211 then enters the data into HUD’s Housing Management Information System (HMIS), which can be accessed only by designated organizations that provide housing services.

Getting to this point took years of discussion and planning. The process was led by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras (HRCS), a coalition of housing and shelter providers, consumers, advocates, and government representatives who work together to shape planning and decision-making around the issue of homelessness. HRCS coordinates the Placer-Nevada Counties Continuum of Care, a joint effort to end homelessness in our two counties.

Ultimately, Coordinated Entry could provide a big-picture view of the needs of those experiencing homelessness in Nevada County and allow service providers to apply for HUD funding to improve services in our community.

Accessing Coordinated Entry

Nevada County
Call 211 Connecting Point at 2-1-1 or 877-847-0499. Provides referrals to emergency shelter as well as additional resources, including food, healthcare, transportation, legal assistance, and more. Callers can choose to be included on a centralized housing assistance list.

Placer County
Call the Homeless Resource Helpline at 833-3PLACER (833-375-2237). Provides referrals to emergency shelter. Callers can choose to be included on a centralized housing assistance list.

Schedule Your Free Tax Assistance Appointment

Need some help filing your taxes this year? The AARP Tax Aide volunteers are gearing up to provide preparation services and electronic filing of both Federal and California tax returns for folks with low and middle income. This service is free for Nevada County residents of all ages.

If you bought health insurance through Covered California and received Premium Tax Credits, you must file a return. Let AARP help! The Tax Aide group can handle most common personal tax returns, including those that have salary, interest, dividends, itemized deductions, pension, IRA withdrawals, capital gains, or stock transactions.

Tax appointments are available every Monday between February 5th and April 9th. Appointments are required. To schedule your appointment, call 211 (just dial 2-1-1 or 877-847-0499) and press 4.

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 4 Months

Hello, Parents!

Parenthood is a journey like no other. Your child is special and truly one of a kind, just like your experience as a parent.

During this journey, you may worry about your child’s growth, health, and behavior and wonder if you are doing all the “right” things to help her develop. Doubt is inevitable (welcome to parenting!), but no one knows your baby better than you. Trust yourself, and remember that it’s okay to reach out; there are all kinds of great resources in our community to help you along the way.

Here’s a quick list of what to expect from your 4-month old and a few activities to try with her.

What to Expect at 4 Months

  • Your baby is communicating with her whole body. She’s moving around, making noises, and crying when she needs something.
  • Your child smiles spontaneously, especially at people.
  • Your baby copies some movements, like smiling or frowning.
  • Your baby likes to play with people and may cry when playing stops.
  • Your baby is beginning to babble.
  • Your baby may begin to be aware of his voice and may test it or play by making different noises.
  • Your child may start reacting with excitement when she sees or hears you.

Activities to Help Your Baby Grow and Learn

Physical play is a valuable tool to support your child’s development. Activities that use physical movements allow children to use their energy, recognize their own capacities, learn new things, and socialize. Playing also benefits your child’s health. Even from a very early age, children use play to understand the world around them.

Here are a few activities to try with your 4-month old:

  • Place your baby on your lap or a firm surface facing up. Pull your baby up slowly by her arms. Then gently lower her in an up-and-down game. This will help strengthen her stomach and neck muscles.
  • Talk to your baby while changing her diaper or giving her a bath; let the baby know what you are doing. You can also sing to your baby and play gentle games, like splashing on the water or playing peek-a-boo with a washcloth or your hands.
  • Place your baby in different positions, like on his stomach or his side. This will allow him to move his arms and legs in different directions, strengthen his body, and give him a more interesting view of his surroundings.

Have fun and remember: you are the most important person in your child’s life!

Want more information? To learn more about your child’s developmental stages, check out the Ages & Stages Questionnaires online or give us a call at 2-1-1 to speak to our Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Chappuzeau. Call 211 to connect to a wide variety of resources, including child safety information, childcare, parenting classes, health services, and more.

Sources: 
ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly & Ginger Fink
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ages & Stages: Social-Emotional Development at 2 Months

Raising a little person is beautiful, fun, and (sometimes) terrifying. It’s also pretty predictable.

Researchers have been studying the stages of child development for years and are able to provide a fairly detailed roadmap of what’s ahead developmentally. Each month, we will share with you some practical information on what to expect from your new baby and some activities you can do together to encourage her healthy development.

Social-Emotional Development

Your child is developing many different skills as she grows, including communication skills, motor skills, social skills, and problem-solving skills. Today we’re focusing on your infant’s social-emotional development.

Social-emotional development is all about your child’s ability to experience and express feelings. Social-emotional strengths are the foundation for all other learning and development to occur throughout your child’s life.

What to Expect at 2 Months

  • Your baby is really smiling at you and others now
  • Your baby may use different cries to tell you when she is hungry, uncomfortable, or sick
  • Your baby “talks” to you with noises and gurgles
  • Your baby likes to be with people and is becoming more interactive with you
  • Your baby likes to play with her fingers, hands, feet, and toes
  • Sometimes your baby will be fussy only because he wants your attention
  • Your baby can recognize familiar people by their voices

Tips for 2 Months

Use a positive tone with your baby to let her know that you love and care for her. Making your child feel safe, secure, nurtured, and loved will help her grow and learn.

Social-Emotional Activities to Try with Your 2-Month Old

More activities to try with your 2-month old. Click on the image to download a PDF of the activity sheet.
  • It is never too early to read books to your baby. Choose simple board books at first and talk about the pictures. Cuddle up close.
  • Take your time when you are giving your baby a bath or changing his diapers. Gently massage his feet and/or belly. Talk to the baby or sing during these one-on-one times.
  • Talk to your baby about what she is doing, seeing, hearing, and feeling. Say, “I am changing your diaper. You will like being nice and dry.”
  • Spend time holding your baby and use this time to show her things around the house or yard. Name things and let the baby touch safe, simple objects (like plastic cups or big wooden spoons).
  • Find more activities here.

Remember, you are the most important person in your child’s life!

To learn more about your child’s developmental stages, give us a call at 211 (just dial 211 from any local phone) or check out the Ages & Stages Questionnaires online

Source: ASQ:SE-2 User’s Guide, Squires, Bricker, & Twombly