RVA Basics logo: The outline of a family in brand colors (orange and yellow) with The Basics written to the right in teal

Give your child a great start in life.

You just need The Basics!

Science shows that 80% of brain growth happens by the age of three! Beginning from birth, young brains develop like little muscles, getting bigger and stronger the more you and your family interact with your child.

The Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways to help all our children aged 0-3 grow to be happy and smart.

Join us!

Be a part of The Basics – a community-wide movement to give every child a great start in life.

We invite you to submit photos of you and your children doing fun things together!  Show us your amazing children and help us celebrate our youngest community members!

Page one of RVA Basics Photo Contest flier
Page two of RVA Basics Photo Contest flier
Looking to Submit Photos? Click Here!

What are The Basics?

The Basics Sub-logo: Smaller red heart superimposed over larger red heart.

Maximize Love, Manage Stress

Babies and toddlers thrive when their world feels loving, safe, and predictable. Respond with smiles, words, and touch to help them see, hear, and feel your love. You will help them develop a sense of security and self-control.

The Basics Sub-logo: Two orange speech bubbles -- one superimposed over the other from the left.

Talk, Sing and Point

Babies learn language from the moment they are born. Respond to their sounds, and later, their words. Connect with eye contact and a loving tone of voice, while pointing to help them know what you are talking about.

The Basics Sub-logo: Three green blocks stacked with the numbers 1, 2, and 3 in white.

Count, Group and Compare

Every child’s brain is wired for math. Talk about numbers, shapes, patterns, and comparisons as you go about your routines together. Watch your child learn to love math.

The Basics Sub-logo: Teal figure of child pushing a toy car on the floor.

Explore through Movement and Play

Babies are like scientists who love making discoveries. Watch to see what interests your child, then encourage their curiosity and help them learn when they play and explore.

The Basics Sub-logo: Purple book figure with a crescent moon in white.

Read and Discuss Stories

Reading turns kids into confident thinkers. Make books a regular part of your relationship from the very beginning. With infants, point at the pictures and speak with excitement. With toddlers, just make it fun.

Who is involved?

Lots of people! Partners include hospitals, health centers, schools, community centers, childcare providers, churches, family members, and others.

What if I’m not a parent?

You still care about children! Learn about The Basics. Encourage parents and caregivers to make sure their children experience all five with everyone who cares for them.

How can I learn more?

Visit www.thebasics.org or connect with us on social media for information on the campaign, opportunities in your community, tips, and videos.

Looking to submit photos?

For more information, please see this flier.

Your Name *

Your Email Address *

Name of Child/ren *

Did you have any prior knowledge of The Basics?

Where did you learn about it?

How did you hear about the photo contest?

By submitting your photo, you grant permission to Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond and its’ partners to use your photograph(s) for the purposes of promoting The Basics. By submitting photos, you also agree that you are the parent/legal guardian of the child/ren in the photo and are able to grant permission to use the images of the child/ren in the photographs.*

Please upload photos below. Accepted file types are jpeg, jpg, and png. Max file size is 5MB and max number of files is 5.


Everything with a (*) is required.

What are The Basics?

The Five to Thrive

Link to Maximize Love and Manage Stress page
Link to Talk, Sing, and Point page
Link to Count, Group, and Compare page
Link to Explore Through Movement and Play page
Link to Read and Discuss Stories page