A relatively new feature in New York City cabs is video screens for passengers. There are promotional clips for Broadway shows, great restaurants, and local attractions. Recently, I was in town on a business trip and my taxi ride included a public service announcement. The message was simple:
Talk, read, and sing to your children. It makes a difference!
This straight-to-the-point message said it all.
- Talk to your child and give them language.
- Read to your child and expand their imagination.
- Sing with your child and give them music.
The first three years of development are significant. Brain growth is contingent on the interplay between genes and environment. Experience and repetition strengthens the connections in the brain and the influence is long term.
Research from the Institute of Education shows children who are read to on a daily basis not only do better when they start school, but also have less behavioral problems in class. Daniel Dwase, editor of the Child Development Guide, says, “Music assists in the development of a child’s speech. Singing nursery rhymes and simple songs teaches children how language is constructed.”
Make sure you take time every day to talk, read, and sing to your children. Remember, YOU are their first teacher!
What are your favorite books to read and songs to sing to your kids?