The first three years of life are critical ones for your child's language development. The more you can do early on to stimulate your child the better. Here are some simple but powerful things you can do to support your baby right from birth.
- Interact with your baby and talk as you bathe, feed, and dress your baby. Talk about what you are doing, where you are going, what you will do when you arrive, and who and what you will see.
- Teach your baby to imitate your actions, including clapping you hands, throwing kisses, and playing finger games such as pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, and the itsy-bitsy-spider.
- Count items such as baby’s fingers and toes
- Introduce animal sounds to associate a sound with a specific meaning: "The doggie says woof-woof."
- Expand on single words or sounds (such as “ma, ma”) your baby uses: "Here is Mama. Mama loves you. Where is baby? Here is baby."
- Read to your baby. Sometimes "reading" is simply describing the pictures in a book without following the written words. Choose books that are sturdy and have large colorful pictures that are not too detailed. Ask your baby, "What's this?"or “Where’s the ball” and encourage naming and pointing to familiar objects in the book.
Literacy... right from the start!