Talk, Talk, Talk

Talk, talk, talk.  Sometimes I feel as though I’m talking to myself.  I remind myself that talking to my young children really is to their benefit, even though Brandon (age 13 months) may not respond much with his own words.  My husband and I use everyday language and vocabulary without watering it down, and we expose them to different perspectives and ideas.  It’s important to let the kids hear my husband and I have conversations, too, to learn the social aspect of conversation.  Betty Hart and Todd Risley conducted a longitudinal study looking at how much kids were talked to in the very early years and their vocabulary development and future academic success.  The results were impressive.  From their website,

“With few exceptions, the more parents talked to their children, the faster the children’s vocabularies were growing and the higher the children’s IQ test scores at age three and later.”

“The data revealed that the most important aspect of children’s language experience is its amount.”

“Differences in the amount of cumulative experience children had … were strongly linked to differences at age three in children’s rates of vocabulary growth, vocabulary use, and general accomplishments and strongly linked to differences in school performance at age nine.”

The gist is this, as Peg Tyre wrote in The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve, “The more children are spoken to, the more they themselves speak.  And the more they speak, the greater their vocabularies.  The greater their vocabularies, the better their reading fluency and reading comprehension is likely to be.”  I see this abundance of vocabulary and impressive reading skill in my almost three year old, Parker.  He speaks in complex sentences, uses advanced vocabulary, and shares amazing, imaginative ideas.  I attribute this to the constant conversation he has with the people around him and being read to from not only the children’s books that he enjoys, but also from our higher level texts that we read aloud.

So talk to your children.  Talk a lot. Talk out loud while you’re at the grocery store, post office, or in the car.  Point out what you see and describe it.  Ask your children questions.  Help them develop answers, if necessary.  Engage your children in conversation on a regular basis.  Your child’s increased intelligence and later success may depend on it.

The Fascinating World of Mammals and Insects Wins Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Product Award

It is nice to see our work has been selected by a toy expert known for choosing products focused on child development and learning. BrainFood Learning has been recognized for its work on the first two videos released in the “Fascinating World of..” series. Dr. Toy Best Vacation Product

The Fascinating World of Mammals and The Fascinating World of Insects have been awared Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Products Award.

Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Products Awards were developed by noted child development authority, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Toy), as a valued service to consumers who desire to purchase safe, affordable, educationally-oriented, and stimulating toys and play products for children for vacation time at home or on the road. “As a childhood specialist for more than 40 years,” says Dr. Toy, “I have seen the continuous, essential need for more year-round resources for consumers to identify and choose the most appropriate products for all children.”

Products are carefully selected from among many hundreds Dr. Auerbach reviews at toy fairs, catalogs and through many sources, and by using extensive criteria developed over many years (including safety, age-appropriateness, design, durability, play value, cultural and ethnic diversity, transition from home to school, educational value, learning skills, creativity, understanding community and world, good value for price, and, naturally, fun).

Dr. Toy reports that in the years the innovative on-line magazine, Dr. Toy’s Guide, has been available, “thousands of visitors daily from around the world have accessed its information.” It was the first web site to evaluate toys and children’s products and now the site is newly updated. The report is being released, according to Dr. Toy, to “encourage parents and teachers to focus on the value of play during the summer as essential to the overall learning process.”

About the Fascinating World of Insect:

The Fascinating World of Insects advances a child’s education by showing amazing video footage along with narration describing insect features and abilities. This format is designed to expand a child’s vocabulary as the video content grabs the viewer’s attention and the vocabulary is absorbed and is appropriate for kids of all ages. Each insect is clearly identified and shown in their natural habitat keeping children engaged. More advanced children will enjoy learning larger concepts such as metamorphosis.

The video is the perfect companion for trips to the zoo, park or even the backyard and is perfect for home and school and answers some of these questions: How do bees make honey? How is the light from a firefly different from that of a lightbulb? How does a caterpillar become a butterfly? Insects featured in this animal video include grasshopper, ladybug, rhino beetle, firefly, mosquito, honey bee, water strider, ant, praying mantis, dragonfly, and butterfly. A multi-section review reinforces information presented earlier. The beginner level reviews show insect flash cards and parts of an insect. The more advanced levels quiz children on insect facts and broader scientific terms related to insects.

About the Fascinating World of Mammals:

This new and innovative video series builds confidence in science through fun and interesting content with amazing content along with narration describing mammal features and abilities. This format is designed for all ages as it helps to expand a child’s vocabulary as the video content grabs viewers Each mammal is clearly identified and shown in their natural habitat and as child grows will learn larger concepts such as echolocation and many interesting facts about mammals from Africa, Asia and Alaska.

This is a useful guide in preparation for a trip to the zoo or wildlife park.   The vidoe helps to answer questions like: How does a beaver build a dam? Which mammal wears velvet? Which animal is the only flying mammal? Mammals include beaver, kangaroo, moose, dolphin, lion, giraffe, elephant, bat, chimpanzee, and bear and is ideal for home and school. The beginner level reviews show mammal flash cards and what features are common among all mammals. The more advanced levels quiz children on mammal facts and broader scientific terms related to mammals.