Creating Talk Time

blank bookHow much “talk time” do you spend while reading with the kids in your life? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released “How To Advise Families on Media Use,”a set of helpful guidelines for doctors, parents and caregivers.

The new paper stressed how kids learn best through interactive experiences: “Neuroscience research shows that very young children learn best via two-way communication. ‘Talk time’ between caregiver and child remains critical for language development.”  

Reading is the easiest way to build “talk time” into our busy lives, and I found lots of great book and app recommendations while researching Born Reading

Start with I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison. It is an interactive book that will help parents and caregivers discover this kind of “talk time” while reading.

As a little girl dances through the park in the book, kids can sing, dance and drum along with the book. Parents can point out butterflies, ice cream cones and radios as the readers explore the park.

The AAP paper also stressed that “co-engagement counts,” urging parents to join kids when they use tablets, smartphones or even television. “Family participation with media facilitates social interactions and learning. “For infants and toddlers, co-viewing is essential,” they concluded.

If you need help making this transition into “co-engagement” with devices, try the Sesame Street Family Play app.

Instead of letting kids play passively on a smartphone, this app suggests games that adults and kids can play together. The app has simple games for restaurants, car trips, the park or even rainy days at home.

You can also explore my Born Reading Playbook for more ways to make any kind of media experience — book, eBook, app or even television show — more interactive.

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