By: Ms. Angy, ECFE Blog Writer
From language, the infant creates order of verbal communication by means of the adult’s tone of voice, nonverbal communication and the words used. The child begins to absorb the understanding of the feelings behind the words. Children also need to not only learn words, but the meaning of the words. I feel that by continuously reading and talking to your baby, will help your infant with language and literacy development. I started reading to my daughter at six weeks old. I also talked to her all the time since the day she was born. I talked to her at the grocery store showing her the apple and verbally labeling it before I put it into the bag. I would walk around the house pointing out objects and identifying them by name. When I would change her diaper, I was telling her about each step I was performing and the materials used. Everything she would touch, I would tell her the name of that object. We would communicate back and forth making sounds while smiling at one another. At an early age, she was talking in short sentences. I feel my daughter did not have very many temper tantrums because she could verbalize her needs at such a young age and she could be understood.
When parents read and speak to their children, it helps build vocabulary and language acknowledgment. In addition to promoting language development, reading to children stimulates imagination, reinforces basic concepts and offers opportunities for new experiences. My favorite time of the day was story time. My daughter would sit on my lap and cuddle while we read a book. Her favorite story then is still her favorite story today. It’s valuable to model proper language and to expose children to the sounds of the human voice. Infants love to play peek-a-boo and patty cake, listen to silly sounds, hearing changes in the voice from a whisper to a high pitch laugh and hearing sounds in the environment from a garbage truck outside to a phone ringing inside. Vocabulary enrichment is continuously communicating by talking, listening, touching and connecting. Infants bond with adults through their voice and touch. That interaction is what develops the human relationship. Early language development will benefit the child throughout their lifetime. There are wonderful tips and articles to read on early language development at: