Thirty Million Words

Remember this post from two years ago (almost to the day!)? Well, talking to your child is still a trending topic. Last week, NPR posted an article based on the book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dana Suskind, MD.


Read the article here. And check out Thirty Million Words the website here.


Reading a Book Over and Over and Over Again Has Its Advantages

Today’s blog post is written by one of our SPARK Parent Partners. Corrinne recently attended a training called “The Power of Shared Reading.” Here is a summary of the information she learned…

Think about your child’s favorite book. Now think about the number of times you have read that book to your child. Re-reading a book over and over may be tiring for you, but it has some extremely important benefits!


Reading a book over and over helps teach comprehension. Go beyond simply reading the book. Focus on different early literacy skills each time you re-read a book.

During the first read, keep your child engaged and help him understand the story by focusing on the pictures. Ask your child to recall the “who’s” and “what’s” in the story.  Encourage him to retell the story to you using words such as first, next, and last.

When you re-read the book to your child, begin to encourage his participation during the reading.  Young children love to participate when you read a book to them. Allow your child to recite repeating phrases with you and let him shout out predictable words in books with rhyme.

During the next few reads, move your child’s attention to the print in the book. Point to the words as you are reading to draw his attention away from the pictures; this will also show them that we read from left to right. Talk about the letters in the title or teach him the meaning of an unfamiliar word from the story. Children’s books often put words and phrases in bold or a different font to help draw a child attention to the print.

As you continue to re-read the book, let your child take ownership of the repetitive words or phrases without your help. Take turns finding rhyming words in a book. Pick a letter and see if he can identify words in the story that start with the sound of that letter.

Don’t forget! Give your child a turn to read the book to you. He may make-up his own version of the story or even have the book memorized by now. He may even surprise you by reading some of the words in the book. There’s only one way to find how much he has learned, and that is by giving him the opportunity to show you.

There are many tools you can use to get the most out of storytime with your child. Illustrations, participation, verbal interaction, using written text, and allowing your child to tell the story himself are only a few ideas. What is your favorite thing to do while reading with your child?