Talk, Read, And Sing To Your Keiki

According to a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, almost 60 percent of American children start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Research shows that during the first years of life a child’s brain forms one million new neural connections every second and absorbs information like a sponge. This is why simple, everyday interactions with young children—like describing objects seen during a walk or bus ride, singing songs, or telling stories—can better prepare them for school, and lay a strong foundation for their social-emotional development, health, and lifelong learning.

Turn small everyday interactions with your child into big brain and language-building moments. Stop and talk or sing to your child during these moments to help with healthy brain development and can build on many different skills.

  • During bath time
  • Driving to and from school or daycare
  • During meals or snacks
  • Before bedtime
  • While shopping
  • During a walk outside
  • During play time

Talking, reading and singing really touches on so many different protective factors to help strengthen families and shields them from different risk factors that they may be exposed to from societal and community risk factors to stressful situations.

Have you talked with your child today? Take a moment to ask them questions about their day, what they observe, or their feelings. Even if your baby does not communicate yet with words, talking, reading and singing can help with bonding with your infant/child as well as healthy brain development.

Kakou for Keiki and Ho’oikaika Partnership developed the “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign to give parents and caregivers the tools to talk, read and sing more with their young children from birth, increasing meaningful interactions that are critical to healthy brain development.

Reprinted from Maui Family Magazine SUMMER ISSUE 2023, April 27, 2023