Thursday, December 31, 2015

Traditional Toys are better for language development than gadgets.

A new Study builds on a growing
body of research suggesting that electronic toys and e-books can make parents less likely to have the most meaningful kinds of verbal exchanges with their children.

The findings raise questions about whether electronic playthings make it less likely that babies will engage in the verbal give-and-take with their parents that is so crucial to cognitive development. When electronic toys were being used, parents said about 40 words per minute, on average, compared with 56 words per minute for traditional toys and 67 words per minute with books.
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University
 “A toy should be 10 percent toy and 90 percent child, and with a lot of these electronic toys, the toy takes over 90 percent and the child just fills in the blank.”

Friday, December 18, 2015

Reading aloud and talking to children makes for a stronger brain.

Early childhood experiences have long lasting consequences for children’s long-term social, emotional and cognitive development. Early childhood experiences cast a lifelong shadow.
 Education does not begin at school. It certainly does not begin at kindergarten.It actually begins at birth.  Brains develop biologically. Major brain stimulation occurs in the first months and first years of life for each child. Brains that are exercised in those key time frames end up as stronger brains.

Direct adult interactions with children in those key months and years create the needed connections that build brains. Studies have shown that reading aloud gives children bigger vocabularies and better reading comprehension in school. Seventy-one percent of parents with a college degree say they do it every day, compared with 33 percent of those with a high school diploma or less, Pew found.

Reading aloud and focusing your attention on the child by talking to them about the story is an ideal activity for their brain development. In addition, reading favorite books on a regular basis builds vocabularies, creates a sense of emotional security—it is one of the many ways we show children they are loved.

It is no surprise, long after the story line of the books are forgotten, the love that is communicated and experienced inside a “reading relationship,” between a child and their parent, is never forgotten.