If you already are the type to read to your child, then it is perhaps no surprise that words and vocabulary are a BIG deal as a child develops.
Talk With Me Baby, an amazing NGO working here in Atlanta, puts it this way:
“Just as food nourishes a growing child’s body, language interactions nourish a child’s brain. Research indicates that both quantity and quality of language are essential for vocabulary development; which is predictive of third grade reading proficiency; children who can’t learn to read by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.”
In his (must-read!) book, The Read Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease explains that 83% of the words an adult typically uses when conversing with a small child come from the “Common Lexicon” of 10,000 words. However, the strength of a child’s vocabulary depends on those “rare words” outside the Common Lexicon. While adults typically use 9 rare words per 1,000 when talking with a child, the average children’s book uses 30 rare words per 1,000.
Reading aloud to your child is an invaluable way of building your child’s vocabulary and literacy skills! And who doesn’t like a good snuggle and read?
(Thesaurus Rex, pictured below, is such a fun way to build vocab for little ones! You can check it out by clicking here.)