Parent Resources

Palmetto Basics

The Palmetto Basics were originally brought to Spartanburg by The Mary Black Foundation in an effort to foster healthy development in the children of our community. A committee was formed that decided ultimate goal would be to help the parents and caregivers in Spartanburg create deeper levels of engagement with their babies and toddlers. The Palmetto Basics are SIMPLE and FREE.

At TCMU-Spartanburg, we have designed our exhibits to help parents incorporate The Palmetto Basics as they interact with their children throughout the museum.

Learn more about The Palmetto Basics and watch videos that provide examples by visiting

The “Basics” of The Palmetto Basics are:

Maximize Love and Manage Stress

Infants thrive when their world seems loving, safe, and predictable. When you express love and respond to their needs, you teach them that they can count on you. Over time, showing love and responding helps them learn to manage their feelings and behavior. As they grow, feeling secure in their relationships gives them the confidence they need to explore, learn, and take on life’s challenges. Young children are affected by your emotions, both good and bad. So, it is important to find strategies that help you cope with stress. Caring for yourself benefits your child.

Talk, Sing and Point

Babies are learning language from the moment they are born. At first, to a newborn baby, speech is just sound. Then, day by day, they learn that the sounds have meaning. This process depends on how much people talk to them. Every time you talk, sing, or point to what you are talking about, you provide clues to the meaning of what you are saying. You are providing important information to their brains about how language works. As your child develops, talking with them and answering their questions is a way to teach them about the world. By talking with them, you will also get to know the fascinating person they are becoming!

Count, Group and Compare

Becoming good at math begins long before a child enters school. Even infants are wired to learn simple math ideas, including small numbers, patterns, and making comparisons. You don’t need to be a math teacher to start preparing your child to be a problem solver. There are fun and simple activities that you can do now to build math and thinking skills.

Explore Through Movement and Play

Movement and play are good for children’s bodies—their coordination, strength, and overall health. They are also ways that children explore and learn about the world. Newborns don’t have much control over their bodies. Each stage of development comes with new opportunities for leaning. For example, an infant might explore by touching, grasping, chewing, or crawling. A toddler might explore by walking or climbing. Young children are like scientists—curious and excited to explore their surroundings. See where your child’s curiosity takes them. The more you pay attention, the more you will learn about the person they are becoming.

Read and Discuss Stories

The more we read with young children, the more prepared they become to enjoy reading and to do well in school. It is never too early to begin reading! Stories expose children to words and ideas that they would not otherwise experience. Books teach children to use their imaginations. What they learn about people, places, and things can be important building blocks to later life success. For both parents and children, times together with books form fond and lasting memories.

Descriptions from

The Ages and Stages Questionnaire/ASQ-3

TCMU-Spartanburg seeks to be a family and community resource. One of the ways that we hope to accomplish that is by offering parents and guardians the opportunity and materials to conduct the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) with their children.

The ASQ-3 is a developmental screening that is unique because it is administered by parents and primary caregivers. There are 21 versions of the screening, based on the age of the child and the developmental milestones at each age, starting at two months and continuing on to 5 years old. The ASQ-3 looks at the areas of Communication, Fine Motor Skills (small muscle), Gross Motor Skills (large muscle), Personal-Social and Problem Solving by asking the parents to rate what they see their child doing at home, or in our case, at the museum! We will have iPads for parents to check out, with the ASQ-3 loaded and ready to go, and they can play with their child in the exhibits while they celebrate milestones and catch possible developmental delays. The screening will take only 10-15 minutes and can be repeated at each stage the ASQ-3 is offered to ensure each child is continuing to grow at the right pace.

After screening, the information will be used by the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) to connect families to organizations offering developmental and educational support for their children. They will also use this information to assess specific areas in Spartanburg County that can use additional supports.

Research has shown that the earlier a child is given a developmental screening, the higher the chance they have to succeed in the future, so we hope you come in and have fun with your child while helping them achieve their future goals!