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.
Notes from Story Time Category: Talking
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.
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.
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 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.