Read, Talk, and Learn in November! Part 1

As some of you know, I am a teacher of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. I am also a certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist. The only reason this post is starting off like a resume is that I wanted to give myself some cred in promoting literacy and language this month. My teaching experience and parenting experience has taught me the value of reading and talking to your child every day. Reading provides information to your children through auditory and visual (and sometime tactile) channels. It gives them opportunities to imagine and wonder. Language gives them the opportunity to share and explore what they have learned. All of that being said, some days it is a huge challenge to get everyone fed, dressed, out the door, in the door, fed, cleaned, and put to bed. Simplicity is a great friend of moms so I’ve put together a couple of books and a language activity for children ages birth-12. This week I’ll focus on birth-5 year olds.

Infant/Toddler Books


This touch and feel board book is short and sweet. There are plenty of these out there, but the pictures, adjectives, and sensory areas are sturdy and varied.


Available in paperback and board, this book has repetitive language, practical vocabulary, and a dog. It’s a toddler trifecta!

Infant/Toddler Language

Before babies learn words, they learn the rhythm and melody of language (prosody). Singing is a great way to encourage language development in your little ones. We do it naturally! I’m sure you’ve found yourself singing or chanting some goofy song or rhyme to your child. Your brain is programmed to do that- it’s informally called “mother-ese” or to be PC “parent-ese.” It’s officially called Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) or Child-Directed Speech (CDS).  And it’s okay if you forget the words- make it up as you go! At this stage your little one won’t know the difference.

Autumn Leaves Song

Sing to the tune of “London Bridges”

Autumn leaves are falling down,

Falling down,

Falling down.

Autumn leaves are falling down,

All through the town.

Red, yellow, orange, and green,

Orange and green,

Orange and green,

All through the town.

Preschool Books


When a local librarian saw how much my son loved an ABC book he was reading, she brought over this for us to check out. It is a cute story of a precocious dog (of course, kids love dogs!) who is determined to taste a forbidden apple pie.  We’ve checked it out many times and usually have to return it because someone has put a hold on it and we need to share. 🙂


Tier 2 vocabulary is an education term that describes words that are more than basic (e.g., A basic word would be picture. A tier 2 word would be masterpiece). Pots and Pans has some fantastic tier 2 kitchen vocabulary alongside detailed illustrations.

I kind of love that Anne Rockwell (author) is the mother to the Lizzy Rockwell (illustrator).  We’ve checked our other collaborations by this pair and they always deliver great vocabulary and detailed images which are terrific for promoting conversation and making real-world connections.

Preschool Language

One thing I’ve learned about preschoolers is they love repetition. How many times have you read that same book?  Watched the same video? Sang the same song?  What I love about this age is that I can make a few activities to do over and over and my child will enjoy them. A photo collage is a great way to spark conversation, ask questions, and to model language about thoughts and feelings. For example, “Look at that squirrel. I wonder if he’s hungry. What do you think he would like to eat?” “Or “This picture shows Mommy serving a turkey to her family. How can her family help her clean up after they eat dinner?” This is great stuff to get your little ones thinking about.

Collage Placemat

Materials: Pictures, cardstock (the side of a cereal box would work), glue, clear contact paper or a laminator.

Gather pictures (print out family or Clipart, cut out of magazines, catalogs). If you child is old enough (3-5) you may encourage them to do some cutting with child-safe scissors. If they aren’t ready to cut out pictures, let them cut strips of paper in half to decorate the collage.  Assist your child in gluing the pages on the cardstock. Then cover it with contact paper and you have a language-provoking placemat to talk about every night at dinner! If you’re really feeling crafty, decorate both sides for double the fun.

If you want something quick for fall I made a printout you could use. I got some beautiful vintage graphics from ttp:// She has beautiful, FREE Clipart.

Click here for the fall collage you can print out and use today!

I’d love to hear your favorite fall books and stories. Stay tuned for next week when I share some ideas for kindergarten-second graders and third-fifth graders!


4 thoughts on “Read, Talk, and Learn in November! Part 1

  1. Pingback: Read, Talk, and Learn in November! Part 2 | Gaining Mommymentum

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