A recent study by researchers at The Pennsylvania State University examined how early learning can affect a child’s school success down the road.
In the study, parents of two-year-olds completed a survey about the number of words their children know. Researchers then followed up with the children when they started kindergarten three years later. Children that knew more words at age two excelled in the following areas:
- More ready to read and learn math
- More attentive during class
- Better behaved
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), toddlers should be able to say 50 to 100 words, along with several two- and three-word sentences by two years old. While delays in language are the most common type of developmental delay, parents can focus on several activities to boost their child’s vocabulary:
- Make story time a daily part of your routine. The AAP recommends establishing a story time routine as early as newborn age. During the newborn stage, a story time routine can help strengthen the parent/baby bond through cuddling and allowing your baby to hear your voice as you read aloud.
- Talk to your child daily. Having conversations with your child, regardless of his or her age, can help them understand how language works. Singing to your child is also encouraged.
- Playtime is important, too. Whether they are coloring, mimicking how you cook in the kitchen, or making up a game, playing is a good opportunity to describe what’s going on to your child. Playing also helps your child develop social skills such as playing nicely with other children.
If you are concerned about your child’s language development, talk with his or her pediatrician.
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