Reward your baby’s first tries at making sounds with smiles and hugs. This early communication is exciting for your baby, and your approval will encourage him to keep trying.
Providence Talks is a great organization based in Rhode Island. The voluntary program gives low-income families “word pedometers” that count the number of words spoken to their children under four. The organization uses this information to work with families to increase the word count.
Early results demonstrate that simple access to information can be powerful. In one pilot study, caretakers presented with data on their child’s vocabulary development increased their adult daily word count by 55% on average.
Check them out at their website here.
Here is a great New York Times article regarding the knowledge gap and the importance of talking to children before they can respond.
“’We don’t want parents talking at babies,’ Ms. Lerner said. ‘We want parents talking with babies.'”
Here is a great article about reading, talking, and singing to babies. It covers everything from sounds to encouraging involvement. At the bottom of the article, there is a chart with early literacy development milestones that ranges from 0-24 months.
Project Enlightenment (found here) has partnered with the Wake County Public School System to created a great set of activities to make reading (and writing) meaningful for preschoolers. These activities include cooking with children and letting them follow the recipe to “providing print materials such as menus, tickets, maps, and catalogues for children to use in pretend play.”
The activities can be found here.
The Library of Michigan has created a great PDF document of books about how to effectively read to children.
Here is a small sampling of the books recomended:
The Michigan PDF can be found here.