A major wonder of raising kids is watching
them learn to talk. At first, communication may be a smile and coo, then on to animated gesticulating
(with all the earmarks of an adult conversation), as distinct words start to appear
in the mix of babble.
As they grow, babies begin to string a
few words into simple sentences like "go bye-bye", "want milk" or "my
Finally declaring their independence,
they usually come to arrive at the mighty "NO" by age two...if not much earlier!
By age three, parent's listening skills,
and often their patience, are put to the test as toddlers begin to ask... What? How? When?
and Why? why? why? why?
While it's easy for parents to fall into
responding in baby talk, experts advise speaking in whole sentences right from the start.
Surrounding newborns throughout
the day with everyday adult conversation and body language will also help later as toddlers begin developing
and stronger childhood learning
Language skills are as individual as personalities.
Parents often compare children and may begin to worry if their child is not talking at the
same age as the other kids in the playground. It doesn't hurt to check with a professional
if this is the case, but many young children with extremely high IQs sometimes wait to start talking (like another famous late talker, Albert Einstein.)
It's seldom a cause for real concern if an otherwise well adjusted two year old who understands
what is being said is not reaching a particular milestone. The same is true for early reading. Kids
don't know that you have a timetable for their skills to develop. As always, children will do what they need
to do when they are ready.
the Web, find out more about helping babies, toddlers and
school-age kids with communication and reading skills, and
discover how building a strong vocabulary now can form a solid
foundation for a lifetime of learning :
More about childhood language & speech skills around the Web:
Development in Children - A virtual library of resources
for teaching newborns to age 8, with links to more information
on developmental milestones, early reading skills, diagnosing
hearing disorders and learning disabilities, suggested books
on the topic.
To Your Baby - UK program with extensive resources
for parents, grandparents and caregivers with tip sheets on
communicating with newborns to 3-year-olds, related reading
activities, poems and songs, a parent's guide to television,
and how to help toddlers become talkers.
Interactive language & reading skills online:
Activities at Scholastic
Non-stop entertainment featuring naming and vocabulary games
for pre-k toddlers, with more advanced language arts learning
for grades 1-12.
to Read - Interactive songs and stories that teach
words and vowel sounds featuring Zac the Rat, Peg the Hen,
Pete's Sheep and a dozen more.
Vocabulary Games and Resources - Help kids build vocabulary and problem solving skills with fun, interactive games encompassing word play, phonics, spelling, homophones, idioms, and lots more.