Notes from Story Time Category: Talking

What’s Happening in This Story?

That's (Not) Mine by Anna KangAs you read That’s (Not) Mine by Anna Kang, talk to your child about what is happening in the illustrations. By talking about what is happening, children learn that there is a beginning, middle, and end in a story.

A Hippo in Our Yard

Talking with children develops their early literacy skills by helping them learn letters, word sounds, and new vocabulary.  Making predictions and talking with children about what they think will happen helps them invest in the story. As you read A Hippo in Our Yard, see if your child can predict what Sally will do on each page!

What Does This Mean?

Reading and talking with your child helps build vocabulary by introducing new words. When you read a book to your child, it’s okay to stop briefly to point out a new word and what it means.

Your Baby Needs to Hear Your Voice

Talking with your baby is so important – your baby needs to hear the sounds of your language! Until about six months of age your baby is a “universal linguist,” meaning he/she can distinguish among each of the 150 sounds of human speech. By 12 months, babies recognize the speech sounds only of the languages they hear from people who talk and play with them.

Read to Me

 Make reading fun by engaging your child in the story by reading lift-the-flap books, singing as you read, or talking to your baby about things they see in the pictures.  It’s more important that reading to your child is enjoyable rather than long. Follow your child’s mood.

What Shapes Do the Clouds Make?

Talking prepares your child to learn to read by helping them acquire language skills and teaching them new vocabulary. Talk to your kids throughout the day about anything and everything. In It Looked Like Spilt Milk by  Charles Shaw, your child will get a chance to see different things in the shapes of the clouds. Looking at the world around you and talking to your child about what you see can be done anywhere. Next time you see clouds in the sky, ask your child what he or she sees.

Talking Parentese

If you have found yourself talking to your baby in a higher-pitched, sing-song voice, that’s actually a great thing!  We call this “parentese” and for babies from birth to about 9 months, this is a way to slow down language so they can listen longer and hear more words.  At any age, you can explain words, even though it might seem like baby doesn’t understand, they are processing what you say. The more times they hear words, the easier it is to understand and say those words.

Talking Builds Vocabulary

Talking with your child, especially as you share books, is one of the best ways to develop vocabulary.  In Penguin Problems, there is a penguin who is very frustrated. Many books give you the opportunity to talk with your child about different feelings. Have them explain how they feel and what they think the character is feeling.

Who Said Moo?

Talking to your child from birth is crucial to their development of language. As you read Who Said Moo? , talk to your child about what they see in the picture. Ask them questions about the story, such as, “What does a cow say?” Children learn more if story sharing is an interactive process.

I Will Chomp You

You talk to and with your child frequently, but did you know exactly how much you are encouraging your child’s language skills with those daily conversations and book-reading? Research has shown that when adults “provide children with higher levels of language stimulation during the first years of life, children have better language skills.”

Many picture books share interesting words that are not used in daily conversation. The book I Will Chomp You repeats the word CHOMP many times! Not only is reading books with repeated words fun, you’re also building up your child’s vocabulary since  repeated exposure to unfamiliar words with meaningful context (like the accompanying pictures in books) helps children learn new words.