TODDLER | Books We Love 3YO – Q3 (Spanish too!)

Well it’s been a long time since my last regular post (Jan 1, ahem) so let’s get back on track. I’m a month+ late with this one (oops) but, life intervenes sometimes. Guests, a month of sickness, doctor’s appointments, traveling, and holidays… lots to do.

In the meantime, I have continued to read lots and lots of books. Good thing. I recently learned about researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley at the University of Kansas and their research on children’s language development. They followed 42 families of different socio-economic backgrounds and recorded every word they said, for one hour per month, over two and a half years. They determined that the number of words the children heard was the most interesting variable as to their vocabulary development by age 3.

They found that babies need to hear 21,000 words a day, or 2,100 words an hour, to have a bigger vocabulary (and what comes along with it). Turns out that’s only about 15 minutes of talking in an hour. (Thanks to Tracy Cutchlow’s book Zero to Five for that information.)

Not only does reading help bring up your child’s vocabulary, but it also gives you some nice family time together.

Get reading!

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DO | Take Action – Take 2

A few weeks ago, a friend tagged me in a post on Facebook. The purpose of the FB post was to see how many likes and comments she could get, and each of those translated into $1 or $2, respectively, to be donated toward a charity that helps others. That person would then tag 10 people to do the same. I was one of the tagged.

I participated in the challenge, but I chose to split the total amount between dollars donated and calls made, since I believe calls help sometimes just as much as money.

My total was 143 (a combination of likes at 1 point each and comments at 2 points, and I included the comments I wrote back to my friends), so I rounded up to 144 and donated $72 to the ACLU and pledged to make 72 phone calls over the following few weeks.

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BABY | Books We Love 21-24 Months

I feel like this last quarter we have been bombarded with books. SO many books. SO many books that now the bookshelf is overflowing onto the floor. It used to be cute and organized with a basket of toys on one shelf and a large toy on another shelf, so I think it may be time to remove any non-book items from the bookshelf. But hey, at least she likes to read!

There were two especially fantastic things about this quarter. First, I had many opportunities to read to her and while the reading helped increase her vocabulary, I was able to teach her additional vocabulary words from items seen on the pages in these stories. I had her look at the page to find items she knew and I taught her new items that she would see when we read the book the next time.

Second, her vocabulary and sentence comprehension EXPLODED. I looked back at my journal of her speaking progress around 16-17 months, and she had just started to really say concrete words. Now she’s saying full sentences, repeating and creating sentences with her own context and content, and her vocabulary is well over 300 words and phrases at this point. (I have her words written down in, but I haven’t yet made the spreadsheet I keep promising to do to count the grand total.)

**Update: I counted, and it’s over 500. Thank you, story time!!**

What’s also very exciting is she now can “read” books to me – she has memorized the sentences on the pages and when I get her going, she will continue the story. Sometimes I don’t have to say anything and she’ll know what’s on the page. It is one of those miracles of child-rearing that no one prepared me for.

Anyway. Enough about the benefits of reading. Here are the books she soaked up these last few months.

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