‘Talk Read Sing’ Activities and Resources

In The Gift of Play: Brain Building and Bonding With Your Baby, we posted information, videos, and resources to help and encourage parents to play with their babies. Among the resources: First 5 California’s “Talk. Read. Sing.” website for parents, its Pandora radio station, and the popular bilingual e-book Potter the Otter.

But we couldn’t stop ourselves — there’s just so much more to share. Here’s another round of resources related to the talking-reading-singing movement, which takes various forms in states and cities around the country. The nationwide #TalkingIsTeaching campaign ties them all together, so let’s start with a quick video about that:

Talking Points: What to Tell New Parents and Caregivers

This Talking Is Teaching tip sheet provides sample messages that home visitors and health care providers can use to help new parents understand the importance of talking, reading, and singing:

  • Talking is teaching. When you talk to your baby — even though they can’t use words yet — they are really learning from you and you’re helping them become both smarter and happier.
  • During the first year of life, your baby’s language will develop faster than any other time. To make the most of this time, talk to your baby about anything and everything. When they coo, coo back. When they smile, smile back.
  • Make routines out of singing during everyday activities like bathing, eating and getting dressed.
  • Read a book to your baby every day — in whatever language you feel most comfortable — beginning at birth. And if you don’t feel comfortable reading words, you can point out the pictures in the book and talk with your baby about them.
  • You are your child’s first teacher. The more words your baby hears from you, the better prepared she will be to learn.
  • Everywhere you go, talk or sing about what you see. Point out the world to your child. A stop sign, a traffic light, or a tree might seem boring to you, but it’s a whole new world for your baby, so teach them about it!
  • Singing songs and telling stories to your baby helps him bond with you, and helps his brain develop.
  • Babies who hear their families talk, read, and sing to them every day become stronger readers and bond more with their families than babies who don’t have that experience.
  • Hugging, laughing, and sharing close moments helps your baby bond with you, and helps her brain develop. The more words she hears from you and other caregivers — and the more positive experiences she has with you — the better prepared she will be to learn.

More conversation prompts are included in What Every Pediatric Professional Can Do to Promote Early Literacy and Early Learning, a tip sheet from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Handouts and Guides: What to Give New Parents and Caregivers

Too Small to Fail and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer several helpful tip sheets for parents:

  • Talking is Teaching Family Guide (in English and Spanish)
  • Talking is Teaching Storybook (in English and Spanish)
  • Tips for Infants & Toddlers (English)
  • It’s Never Too Early to Help Your Child Learn — Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day! (EnglishSpanish)
  • Tips for Families (English, Spanish)
  • The Benefits of Being Bilingual – A Review for Teachers and Other Early Education Program Providers (English, Spanish)
  • Tips for Using Language at Home and in the Community (English, Spanish)
  • Helping Your Child Become a Reader (English, Spanish)
  • Helping Your Child Learn to Read (English)
  • Sharing Books With Your Baby Up to Age 11 Months (English)
  • The Secret to a Smarter Baby (English)
  • Why It Is Never Too Early To Read With Your Baby (English)
  • Tips for Infant & Toddler Teachers and Caregivers (English, Spanish)
  • Tips for Preschool Teachers & Other Early Childhood Education Program Providers (English, Spanish)

Talk Read Sing ResourcesAlso see the tip sheets from ReachOutAndRead.org (in English and Spanish) and these parent resources from the bilingual site Colorín Colorado:

Handouts: What to Give Health Care Providers

If you are reaching out to providers about Welcome Baby or home visiting, consider sharing the Talking Is Teaching Community Provider Guide or any of these resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics literacy toolkit:

Also see the Reach Out and Read resource center for medical providers.

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