Babies aren’t born smart — they’re made smart.
And what makes them smart? Words.
Research proves that language has unmatched power to build a baby’s brain. The number of words a young child hears, and the tone and meaning of those words, is crucial to the way the brain develops.
That’s why the Studer Community Institute staff created a series of radio spots using tips from Dr. Dana Suskind’s book, “Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain.”
The tips, featuring Institute founder Quint Studer, offer practical advice for parents and caregivers to exposure young children to more words.
Research that Suskind and her team at the University of Chicago have done supports research that indicates that the more words a young child hears, the stronger the connections in that child’s brain will be. Children who hear fewer words before age 3 face challenges in developing language and reading skills they will need to succeed in school.
So how do you start? The advice all boils down to this: Talk to your child. All the time. Every day.
Need some help getting started? Just listen to these spots.
And then share the advice with everyone you know who may spend time with a young child.
A California program uses text messages to prompt parents with tips, strategies to talk more with their young children.
Talking about shapes, numbers and patterns is important. It helps build number sense, basic math and comparison concepts.
The science is indisputable. The essential years for developing the human brain are from birth through 3. Helping parents with their role in that is key.
Parents had to learn that it was OK for their children to fidget while reading. What’s important is keeping the child engaged — because engaged kids learn better.
Yes-no questions are only good for one-word answers. How and why questions force your child to start building problem-solving skills.
When your baby makes a sound, it’s her way of trying to talk to you. Answer back, even if you feel silly doing it. Every word you say is building her brain.
Research shows that children who are praised for their effort are less likely to give up when faced with a challenge.
Make the word fragments your baby starts to say into full sentences to help her learn more words.
Talk to your baby about what you're doing all the time. Adding more words to describe what you're doing is like adding links in a chain, one that will help your child's brain build strong connections later on.
Talk about what you are doing when your baby is there. When you change a diaper, when you wash the dishes, when you do anything, talk about it to your child.
Babies learn more from positive words than harsh, negative words. They also learn more from words that describe than from words that only give orders.
Positive, loving interaction with a parent is what helps your baby’s brain grow to be healthy, sharp and ready learn.
Read early and often with your child, and remember: Repetition is key. You will get tired of reading the same story long before your child will get tired of hearing it. Keep reading it anyway.
How can you help you child be ready for kindergarten? Ditch the device and talk to — and with — your child.
How you can help build your baby's brain? Make words part of everything you do when you play together.
The Studer Community Institute staff has crafted a series of radio spots that give parents and caregivers tips on how to boost the number of words young children hear, improving the language skills they will need to be ready for kindergarten.