The question on the forum was “How can I stimulate my baby’s mind in just 10 minutes a day?” “The Story-Skilled Child” creator and presenter, Sean Buvala, addresses this question. His answer is “you can’t” and here is what you do instead? Create your home filled with language through conversation, questions and storytelling. Here’s a short video:
The child can barely wait to get that book out of dad’s hands. She’s grabbing it, looking at the cover, fumbling to get it open. She is accidentally whacking dad in the face with the book as he juggles books and baby.
It’s adorable, frankly. And it is encouraging.
We hand out a lot of books to families in our “Story-Skilled Child” parenting workshops. Kids are usually not present at the workshops, However, sometimes they are there and that is okay. We do a lot of accidental babysitting and keep crayons and coloring pages in our kit. Our team normally doesn’t get to see the reaction to our books when the kids get a hold of them. But on this day, as we watch the father and toddler together, we know that these two books are going to a home full of language, to a family that reads together, with a parent that connects.
It doesn’t matter that the young child cannot actually read. It doesn’t matter that the toddler can’t understand the nuances of the words in the story. It’s not important that your child comprehend what is going on in the pictures.
What does matter is that you (parent, caregiver) read and communicate with your kids. Sometimes you are reading stories. Sometimes you will put the books down and tell stories.
Fill your home full of language. Let your children use those little fingers to grab big books and fumble with them.
As they say, “you got this.”
Read. Tell. Talk. Engage. Fill your home full of language. Watch this blog for a series of ways to help you do just that.
Sean Buvala is the primary presenter and creator of “The Story-Skilled Child” project and parent-involvement programming for Title 1 schools. The program is available for all schools in all neighborhoods. He is a storyteller with more than 30 years experience and the director of Storyteller.net. He and his wife Michelle have four young-adult children.
Don’t wait for your child to “get to school” to learn. You…the parent…are the best educator of your child. Create a home full of language and words from the very beginning. Tell stories. Talk to your baby. Talk to your toddler. Talk to your preschooler, your elementary-aged child, your teens. Talk. Engage. Ask questions. Listen. Now.
You, parent (or the person acting in that role for the child), are the first educators of your child. It’s not something you “have to” do. It is something you get to do.