Notes from Story Time Category: Talking

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.

Talk to Your Baby

It may seem silly to remind parents to talk to their children. But it is important to note that the frequency and the complexity of how you talk with them does matter. Often when we talk with children, we are simply telling them what to do (business talk). Researchers have found that extra talk makes a difference in the amount of language and knowledge that children have. Adding descriptive information or telling stories about experiences helps children learn more about their world.

It’s Puppet Time

Use stuffed animals or puppets to sing songs, read stories, or talk to your baby. Even siblings can help with this fun activity!  No puppets at home? Ask about our collection of puppets that can be checked out!

What Kind of Truck Is This?

Reading books is a great way to introduce your child to new vocabulary words.  It is okay to stop the story to talk about what the words mean.  While reading Machines at Work, talk to your child about different kinds of trucks.

Learning New Words

Having your child repeat and talk about new words is a great way to internalize them and make them more likely to be remembered. As you read Where Is Green Sheep?, sing one sentence and ask your child to  sing it back to you!

Elephants Cannot Dance!

Using puppets to talk or sing is a great way to encourage creativity and imagination. Take a favorite book (such as Elephants Cannot Dance) or favorite song and set it up with puppets to recreate favorite character, plot, or melodies.