30,000 Words is the Magic Number

Mother Reading picture book - 110884456

Even before a child is able to speak, words play an important role in his or her brain development. By the time they reach three months, words have a bigger impact on his/her mind than other sounds, including music.

Studies show that the greater the number of words a child hears from his/her parents or caregivers before the age of three, it not only helps to build his/her vocabulary but also increases his/her IQ so they do better in school. Just how many words should you chatter to your child? 30,000 is the magic number. This is equivalent to reading Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat 18 times.

So, as you make your New Year’s resolutions, whether it’s to cook more at home or exercise, make the extra effort to use words in your interactions with your child. Start by explaining to your child what you are doing and give them the reasons why. For example, when you’re cooking a healthy meal, talk to your child about the foods you’re using, or when you’re out taking a walk, point out the different plants or trees and discuss their shapes and colors.

If you are concerned about your child’s language development, First 5 San Diego’s Healthy Development Services (HDS) provides free developmental checkups for children ages zero through five. To get connected, call 1-888-5 FIRST 5 (1-888-534-7785) or click here to find a HDS provider near you.

Back to the January/February 2014 Newsletter