© Anita Patterson Peppers | Dreamstime.com
The impact of talk on a growing baby brain can’t be overstated. A recent study by Stanford University showed that children who were exposed to more spoken language from an early age showed a significant developmental lead over children with less exposure.
One of the first things parents learn during parenthood is that children’s ears are always open and verbal communication is impacting a growing brain before it even begins unraveling the secrets of language. Syllables and sounds are sparking brain activity, kick-starting the neural pathways that will lead to vocabulary and communication.
As your child grows, she adds words to her memory banks, collecting ever more raw material to use in social interactions. You’re there at the front lines, helping her go from “Da” to “Daddy” to “my father is driving me crazy.”
Fun Places to Explore
Talking with kids is a wild, hilarious adventure that can be done anywhere for free. Memphis is full of cool places with fun stuff to talk about. The Memphis Zoo is alive with kinkajous and aardvarks who run, trot, swing, and munch. The moray eel coils while the fat African Toad inflates his air sac. The whole place alive with animals to watch and describe.
Our city’s music museums, like Rock’n’Soul and the Stax Museum, have rooms full of banjos and snare drums, posters of Tina Turner, platform shoes, washtub basses, gold-plated Cadillacs and platinum records. In these funky halls, new words wait around every corner. Parks like Overton and Shelby Farms connect us to the natural world. There’s water that attracts birds, grass that feeds the bison, people with kites and people on bikes. You’ll find plenty to explore.
Even the grocery offers a wonderland of new words and ideas. The settings can be as mundane as a doctor’s waiting room, or as wild and crazy as an outdoor festival, but rest assured, there’s always something your kids would like to talk about with you.