Originally Posted by the_bird
Actually, one thing we did do very early on was teach her some sign language. Kids can communicate at a lot younger age than people expect, they just can't do it verbally. Sign language can help out tremendously. We have a Baby Einstein video that does sign, and there's a PBS show that Cassie used to *love* called "Signing Time."
I did the same thing with my oldest daughter. By the time she was 15 months she knew how to sign for just about everything that she wanted but couldn't say.
Overall though I'd have to agree with Bird in that I don't know that there are any foolproof ways to continually stimilate all parts of the human brain on a consistent basis.
I read to all of my children regularly, and I have the older ones read to me (or to their sisters) for 20 minutes every night. On the weekends we have 'school time' where we play some silly games, but also do some real school work that's related to things that they are actually doing in school - albeit more advanced. My Kindergartner is doing simple math and some reading already and my 2nd grader is doing math and reading well above her grade level.
Most kids love to learn, you just need to make it fun for them by keeping them engaged and interested.