Parents of young children typically have a lot going on—work responsibilities, food preparation, home maintenance and basic child care like feeding, bathing, and diapering take up most days. There are other activities like reading, talking, singing and playing that are critical to the brain development of babies and young children, but these don’t always make it into hectic daily schedules.While parents and caregivers may be stretched in the time they have available, there are many ways that daily activities can include teaching and talking. Sesame Street recommends that parents make every day a talking day by enjoying “conversations” with babies and toddlers (even if it’s just coos and babbling), reading them books, and singing simple songs. And PBS Parents offers great ways to use everyday routines—like taking the bus or shopping for food—to help your child learn new words. By integrating reading, talking and playing into regularly scheduled activities, parents and caregivers can help babies and young children develop critical vocabulary skills and improve their learning.Some families are resolving to use this new year to make room in their busy lives for positive habits that will expose their children to more language and instill a love of learning. In a charming blog post, Laura Mayes of Austin, TX writes about her resolution to spend more time this year with her son while reading to young children in their local community. And Hong Van Pham, a young researcher living in the Bay Area, CA, resolved this holiday season to share what she’s learned about early childhood development with her family and two toddler cousins. Their stories are in the links below.We’d like to know how you resolve to help close the word gap in 2014. Email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post them on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/2smalltofail.
- PBS Parents offers tips on how to incorporate reading and new words into daily activities like riding in the car, shopping at the mall and mealtimes.
- Sesame Street shares good ideas on how to include reading, talking and singing while giving basic care to babies and young toddlers.
- Why reading aloud for just 15 minutes a day can make a difference, from ReadAloud.org.
- “A Capital Idea”. GoMighty. December 31, 2013.
- “One Family’s Resolution to Close the Word Gap”. Next Generation. January 7, 2014.
VideoParents and caregivers play an important role in helping their babies learn. >>