April 21, 2020

Vol. 5 Lisa B.’s Bighearted Blog

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Week # 5 Talk……..and Listen!

Watching this video, I guarantee, will generate a smile.

You may have seen it when it went viral last summer. This dad, DJ Pryor, and his baby perfectly demonstrate one aspect of our motto in the Children’s Area at the Peterborough Town Library: Write, Talk, Read, Sing and Play……Every Day!

Our mantra, Write, Talk, Read, Sing and Play, is repeated by libraries across the nation because those actions are the building blocks of early literacy—one of our mission’s cornerstones.

You might say, ‘My baby can’t talk!  How can we have a conversation?’  Well, look at these two.  They are having a conversation and, as in all the best conversations, each person gets to say something and each one graciously listens to the other.  Can you imagine a better demonstration of sharing language?  It’s all there—intonation, hand gestures, facial expression, sentence building, pauses and mutual respect.

Talking and listening are two of the most important things you can do with your baby.  Talking builds vocabulary, generates empathy, and develops language and comprehension.

Two highlights from the site talkwithyourbaby.org elaborate on this:

  • Talking is important for building your baby’s brain. In the first 3 years of life, your baby’s brain triples in size. It also becomes much more complex. The brain develops as your baby interacts with the world—seeing what will happen if the baby fusses, giggles, blows bubbles, says “mama” or “dada”—or throws  the cereal on the floor. 
  • Lots of talk from loving adults also builds healthy relationships and social skills.  You are your baby’s first and best teacher in matters of building trust, dealing with emotional and physical needs, and interacting with others in positive ways.

Talking leads right into reading. Reading is another way to share language with your baby.  You do not have to read every word.  Talk about the pictures and read just what your child wants to listen to.     

Some handy pointers for using talking, reading, writing, singing and playing daily are in this promotional poster from Maine.

Three titles ideal for sharing with small pre-verbal (and verbal!) people are on Hoopla (a free, streaming service available 24/7 on our webpage).

The Babies and Doggies Book is a visual feast for infants and a fun read-aloud for parents.
Brown Bear and Friends is an audio book containing four classic tales by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. 
Brightly colored, whimsically illustrated and written with humor and love, Gossie and Friends Big Book of Adventures by Olivier Dunrea.

And this new title, written by Phyllis E. Grann, and illustrated by the late, great, beloved Tomie dePaola of NH, will be in our collection when we open again!   

I Will Talk to You Little One: Read to Your Baby.  From saying their name, to reading books aloud as they get older, this story highlights the importance of talking to your little ones from the very beginning.
Author: Corinne Chronopoulos
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