Children learn about language by listening to parents talk and joining the conversation. Use new words when talking with your child. Try to help him or her make connections between words.


  • Ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with yes or no.
  • Allow time for your child to process what they hear and formulate a response.
  • Use "parentese": speak in high-pitched tones and stretch out your words when talking to babies. They listen longer and hear the smaller sounds in words more easily up to nine months of age.


  • Make animal sounds together.
  • Go to the park and talk about the names of the plants and animals you see.
  • Tell your child how you felt the day he or she was born.

How the library can help

CADL has books for you to take home and read together. Here are some books that invite talking because they have lots of opportunities for listener participation.

Shout It Out by Denise Fleming

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

No, David! by David Shannon

Adapted from Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library, 2nd Edition