Recent studies are showing that the more you talk to your children between the ages of birth to 3, the larger their vocabulary and the better their reading comprehension by the time they enter school at age 5.
So what do we mean when we say “talking?” It’s more than just the directional speak or “business talk” we use on a daily basis. It’s the conversations and the questions we ask. Instead of saying, “Come sit down for lunch,” offer a question or explanation: “Come sit down for lunch. I’m making peanut butter and jelly. I’m going to put the peanut butter on the bread, cut the sandwich in half, pour a class of milk, give you a handful of pretzels. Would you like carrots or a string cheese?”
Not only are children learning sequencing by doing this, they are also hearing more words. According this study done just a few years ago by professors at the University of Kansas, children who heard at least 30,000 words a day regardless of socioeconomic status, acheived greater success by third grade than those who heard less than 30,000. Just how much is 30,000 words, though? According to the article, it’s like reading Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat 18 times a day.
So when you are talking to your baby just remember the influence you will have on your child when they reach 3rd grade. And talking is probably the most inexpensive way to increase your child’s vocabulary.