Tips for parents

Evidence shows that the more you talk, play and sing with your child from birth, the greater the benefits for your child’s development. But it doesn’t have to be another chore you need to add to your list of tasks. Here are some ideas and suggestions for building interaction into your daily life, any place, any time.

Ideas for your baby

Mother reading book to her baby daughter

Mother reading a book to her baby daughter

  • Everyday activities are the best way for your baby to learn new words.
  • Point out and talk about what your baby can see or hear during the day.
  • Share stories with your baby every day. It’s OK to read slowly, skip pages or just talk about the pictures.
  • The best toy for a baby is you. Let your baby see your face. Crouch down, lift up or sit next to your baby when talking, sharing stories and playing.
  • Babies need time to express themselves. Pause to give your baby time to communicate, then respond to your baby’s sounds and actions, and always add some words.

Talk to your local public library staff about great books for babies.

Toddler boy playing with his father at home

Toddler boy playing with his father at home

Ideas for your child

  • Children learn best from talking playing, and singing with you. Best of all, this can happen any place and any time.
  • Talk about what you’re doing, what you can see, and what interests your child.
  • Share or tell stories that interest your child. Repeat favourites again and again.
  • If a word is unfamiliar, don’t change it or skip it. Instead, show your child a picture, the real object, or an action that lets the child know what the word means.
  • Point out any letters or words you see.
  • Talk about street signs, posters or labels when shopping, and show children recipes and instructions as you follow them together.

Visit your local public library and enjoy a free Story Time session.