We all want our children to succeed and be excited about learning, but the best learning is often done when kids don’t even realize they’re doing it. Especially for the younger ones, who learn best by watching and exploring on their own. Here are some ways to incorporating learning from day one with your child.

Math

Math is a part of our everyday life, whether we like it or not. Kids love counting and pointing, so incorporate it into your daily life. Walking up the stairs to bed with your toddler? Count the steps. Putting crackers on her highchair tray? Count them out. Let her point to a group of items and count them out with her.

Colors

If your baby or toddler is with you while you’re folding the laundry, say the color and name of the items you’re folding. “Blue shirt.” “Blue pants.” “Brown skirt.” It’s easy to do and teaches your child new vocabulary as well as colors.

Vocabulary

Narrating your actions to your child as you go through your day will build her vocabulary before she even says her first word.

Bonding

It’s a thing of the past to believe that you can spoil a baby. When your baby cries, pick her up, talk to her, sing to her. Don’t leave your baby alone in her crib or bouncy to stare at the ceiling. Bring her with you wherever you go in the house and always be ready to interact. Smile at her when she smiles at you. Babble back at her when she begins make noises. And don’t worry about not wanting to let your child “cry it out” at night. She needs to know that you will be there for her whenever she needs you. And for babies and toddlers, they aren’t crying to try to manipulate you, they’re crying because they actually want or need you.

Our children are always watching us and learning from us, even as babies. And as parents, these means we should always be aware of what we are teaching them — both behaviorally and educationally.