Talking, Reading and Playing with a child every day helps with brain development, self-esteem and vocabulary, which is a key predictor of a child’s ability to succeed in school.

Research has found children born into low-income families heard roughly 30 million fewer words by the age of three than their more affluent peers. This word gap leads to an alarming achievement gap — in school and life — between poor children and those born into more well-to-do families. The strength of a child’s vocabulary, built by the words they hear, directly impacts their ability to read. Studies show that Talking, Reading and Playing with a child every day is proven to increase that child’s vocabulary and school success. We’ve partnered with The Family Conservancy to develop the tips and resources below.

• Say your baby’s name often.
• Take turns making the same sounds as your baby. Babies learn that people react when they make sounds.
• Talk to your baby during bath time, play time, diaper changing, and feeding time. This is how your baby will learn the daily routine.
• Talking to your baby will help your baby learn to talk.

• Look at books together. This gives you a chance to hold and cuddle your baby.
• Point to pictures in books and talk about what you see. This gives your baby a chance to hear new words and learn to enjoy books.
• Read before nap time and bedtime. This routine can calm your baby.

• Give your baby time to move and play with you.
• Look and smile at your baby. Let your baby watch your face and follow your movements.
• Play with your baby using rattles, toys, and games like peek-a-boo.
• Talk to your baby during these activities

Additional Resources:

Our friends at Read Charlotte have developed this tool so you can learn home activities that can develop specific reading skills.