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discovering colours
Everything is pink: the house, the teddy bear, the tee-shirt, the car, the bedspread. Even if she knows colours, my three-year-old daughter has fun with the concept. With the hint of a smile and sparkles in her eyes, she swears that everything around her is pink. Perhaps it’s her way of checking the evolution of her learning – or just a way of teasing her mother. Discovering colours is an important learning process for preschool children. It usually takes place between the ages of two and six. “Knowing colours is a prerequisite for entering preschool,” says Francine Ferland, occupational therapist and Professor Emeritus at Université de Montréal. A school-age child’s...
count
He counts the steps, the number of holes in his piece of cheese, the quantity of books on the bookshelf in the living room, the red tee-shirts in his clothing drawer. My six-year-old son is obsessed with numbers. He loves to count. A statistician-to-be? Maybe. But it is more likely that Pumpkin is going through a phase. Learning how to count is a skill all children try to acquire at some point in their development. “Before entering kindergarten, a child possesses basic mathematical knowledge”, explains Francine Ferland, occupational therapist and author of thirteen pieces on child development. Beyond knowing how to recite a series of numbers, a child learns how...
playing
“Come play with me!” If you are the parent of a young child, this sounds quite familiar to you. Sometimes we give our little ones positive answers; some other times, we refuse for all sorts of reasons like fatigue, stress, household chores, or… lack of interest. All the experts say it: playing with our children is essential. “Everything, from changing the diaper to learning a new word, is much easier through games”, says Julie Philippon, blogger and mother of Camille, 8, and Félix, 6. Catherine Goldschmidt, a mother of three, adds: “Playing is a daily break. It allows children to take some kind of control. The roles are reversed.” According...
games
My six-year-old son is so proud. Without any help, he built a “house” in the living room: he used chairs, a blanket, and clothes pegs. My three-year-old daughter was very excited and filled it with a bunch of furry toys, plastic plates, and pillows. They say they live on the beach where they fish. A trivial game that is a pretty good representation of what is going on in my home and in yours… Yet, when we pay more attention to this anecdote, we realize that my children were actually learning how to organize and coordinate themselves, create a scenario, and set rules and roles while letting their imagination run...
playing games
At the age of eighteen months, my daughter would watch Baby Einstein videos, an educational TV show especially tailored for the little ones. She loved it. Now my three-year-old princess surfs through her favourite applications on the iPad and really enjoys tapping on her older brother’s DS console. Is it serious, doctor? Am I a bad mother? “Of course not!” says a friend, an early childhood educator. Any exposure to electronic games, whether online computer games, video games on a console, or games on a digital tablet, is harmful if excessive, according to the experts. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that children aged two and under not be exposed to...
choosing games
He was staring at me, eyes wide open. My six-year-old son was disappointed. The gift he received was not what the one he had hoped for. I explained to him the concept of a “gift”, something given to “make someone happy” and for which we say “thank you”. But during the following days, I had to accept the obvious: this new game was of no interest to my son. Actually, everything about that game was the opposite of what he liked! How to choose the right game or the right toy for your child? “Through observation, simply”, says Gilles Cantin, an Education professor at Université du Québec à Montréal. The...