- Babies can hear sounds 10 weeks before they’re born, so “talk to the belly” and sing lullabies. You can even read to them!
The First Year:
- Cooing, gurgling, and babbling are the beginnings of talking. Repeat the noises babies make.
- Even crying is the beginning of language. Baby’s telling you what she needs. Tune into what she’s trying to say.
- Slowing down and exaggerating the sounds of your words will help babies learn sounds and words.
- Babies learn more language when they see gestures that go with them. So point and point—and point some more!
- Talk to babies up close and face-to-face—this helps them figure out how to move their mouth and lips to talk.
- Talking to babies in two languages helps them learn both languages and a lot of other thinking skills—so talk, read, and sing to baby in your first language.
- Read books to children—there is nothing more comforting for a child than reading a book in a grown-up’s loving arms.
- When reading to your child, ask them about the story, add a little something to their answers, and ask again.
- Between the ages of one and two, children learn four times as many words as they knew before! So talk, read, and sing to children as much as you can.
- Build on what children do and say. Take turns with sounds, words, funny faces, and actions. Go back and forth to create a conversation or game.
- To build toddlers’ brains, try to ask questions when they say something: “What do you think about…?” or “Can you tell me more?”
- Toddlers connect words to what they see. Point out and name body parts, and count objects like blocks or pictures on the page of a book!