Beginning to do educational activities with newborns is not too early. Talking to your baby will help them to learn the spoken language; not only to be able to understand, but also to increase their ability to verbalize.
Early introduction to music is important also because babies are sensitive to the sound of music. Even hearing music before their birth will have a calming effect on them. As adults music lifts our moods and will make us smile or cry with emotion; the same is true for young children. My son and daughter-in-law played music before their baby was born. And as a newborn, they sang songs to her and played calming music for naps and night time. When she was about seventeen months old, she loved Silent Night and although she cried emotionally each time she heard it, she wanted to hear it over and over again. Now at just over two years, she spends a lot of time singing and sometimes plays her flute while she dances to music. Because of this early introduction, it seems that music is playing a large part in her life.
The brain builds itself by forcing connections through learning. Babies love to learn and are little sponges in their first few years of life. There are videos available for babies that show the alphabet and numbers and then eases them into the introduction of words. My son and daughter-in-law began using them on a daily basis when their daughter was six months old and are strong advocates of their use. Now at twenty-eight months she is able to read many of her own books herself. Although she enjoys imaginary playtime and the usual things young children play, (i.e.: playing with her dolls, having tea parties, playing at the park and visiting with her cousins, etc.), she always gravitates to her educational games.
As babies grow, there are many educational activities for as early as 12 months or sooner which include books and games about shapes, colours, matching sequences, building blocks, large Lego pieces and counting games. Activities such as these are enjoyable for young children when mom and dad are spending time with them. Of my seven grandchildren, she is the only one whose parents have implemented this type of early learning and I can definitely see the advantages of it to her.
Although beginning early reading with a very young child is considered controversial by some, education is becoming more and more important in the world of today. This is evidenced by the all-day kindergarten classes now being held in many areas. I believe that for those who do begin early educational activities, they are giving their children a definite advantage over those who are just beginning to learn their alphabet and numbers in kindergarten.