Learning Tip: Babbling and Nursery Rhymes
From about nine to twelve months, babies increasingly use repeated syllables in their babbling. These can (happily!) include “mamama” and “dadada” as well as nonsense words such as “bababa” and “nanana.” Soon this babbling will turn into real words. Because of this rapid development, now is a particularly important time to be talking (and singing!) with your baby. While your child’s spoken vocabulary (expressive language) is limited, she can understand quite a bit (receptive language). Involve your baby in your everyday activities, whether it’s talking about what you are buying in the grocery store or what you see at the park. Before you know it, she’ll be talking up a storm. Your vocabulary will be her vocabulary!
Many nursery rhymes and songs concern real life, and so they provide great opportunities for babies to hear common words repeated. Patty-cake, Patty-cake narrates a baking story, and Mary Had a Little Lamb incorporates school and pets. Do You Know the Muffin Man is a song you can download from Scout’s music collection. Its location, Drury Lane, still exists—it runs through the theater district of London. The song harkens back to the days when people frequented street vendor stalls and hawkers plied their wares in the streets. These songs have remained popular and continue to entertain generation after generation for many reasons: the line repetition helps children remember lyrics, the real-life locations and/or activities in these songs help children relate to them and – they’re fun!
Tips and activities to build your baby's language skills:
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