Okay, so your baby isnt going to start reading War and Peace this year. That doesnt mean it isnt time to start developing his or her language skills. Research has shown parents can make a difference in their childrens development. Find out the best ways to build your babys vocabulary and understanding of English now.
Surround Them with Words
There can be a tendency to avoid using proper English around babies. Instead of simple pictures of duckies and a chorus of baby talk, incorporate words and language into your babys day-to-day life. Researchers say babies can begin learning from written words around the house starting when they are 3 to 4 months old.
Teaching language skills is a perfect excuse for dressing kids in bandana bibs. You can incorporate different words and phrases on the bibs from the childs name to Granddads favourite to I Love Mom. Then make a point of showing off the words and saying them out loud. Colourful t-shirts with words and labelled illustrations up on your childs bedroom wall can be used to brighten up your childs day while helping to teach reading.
Talk to them! Tell babies a story as they enjoy their lunches. Sing a song to them while they are taking a bath. Hold up their toys and tell them the names of each one. Gradually, the baby will begin to recognise elephant or whale as you help them build vocabulary.
Beyond learning words, you will want to help your child learn what those words mean. By explaining what youre doing, your child will begin to put words in context. They will also begin to learn cause and effect. You can tell them you are going to turn on light and then let them watch what happens when you turn on the light. This is easy enough to work into your normal routine with your baby but it can pay off in big benefits in your childs development. In addition, youll be able to think back on these times you spent together with your baby.
It is hard to overemphasis the importance of reading. Instilling children with a love of words and reading will have benefits for them throughout their lives. Reading to them on a daily basis provides quality time together by building their understanding of language. Even driving in the car or a walk around the park can be an opportunity to point out things as you drive by and explain them.
Your child wont begin reciting Shakespeare anytime soon. While its easy to keep that in mind, you might still tend to expect too much too fast. You dont want reading to become a trial. Keep things fun and light and focus on enjoying your time together, instead of achieving specific gains.
You may not see be able to appreciate the fruits of your efforts for years to come. Rest assured, your time spent will have an important impact on your childs future. Much of your childs brain development will take place during the key months as a baby. Your impact on your babys cognitive development will be hard to measure but will be critical, nevertheless.