Resources

FAMILY ACTIVITIES

      • Brain Building in Progress: Brain-building ideas for families and caregivers
      • Mind in the Making: Resources for building communication other essential life skills from birth onward
      • One Tough Job: Answers to parenting questions from the Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund
      • Resources for Early Learning: Language-building activities for families from MA Department of Early Education and Care
      • Teach More/Love More: Fun things to do with children & resources for parents in English, Spanish, & Haitian Kreyòl
      • VroomWith creative tools and content that reflect the up-to-date science, Vroom seeks to empower the adults in young children’s lives to be brain builders.  The Daily Vroom app offers families simple ideas for engaging their baby or young child in brain building activities and enables them to track their progress

Books for Children and their Families: Building Language and Social-Emotional Skills

  • Mind in the Making: Books and Tips that Promote Life Skills: A selection of picture books that promote the seven essential skills of focus and self-control, perspective taking, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, and self-directed engaged learning. Downloadable tip sheets offer simple conversation prompts to use with the books and explain how they promote a skill. Providers who serve children from low-income families can obtain these (and other) books at substantial discount from the First Book Marketplace
  • Small Talk Books™: Playful board books for toddlers and grownups that model language-building conversations

Screen Media

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT IT

Milestones and Pathways

 Infants

        • Serve and Return: 2-minute video from the Center on the Developing Child explains the importance of responsive interaction for brain development, beginning in infancy
        • Supporting Young Infants’ Learning: 7-minute video from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care shows how early educators bond with young infants, build their language, and help them connect with their world
        • Supporting Older Infants’ Learning: 8-minute video from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care  shows how early educators build older infants’ language as they support exploration and problem-solving and help babies begin to make friends.
        • The linguistic genius of babies: TED talk by Dr. Patricia Kuhl sharing her research on how babies babble sounds from many languages, focus on those they regularly hear, and learn sounds from new languages through responsive interaction with native speakers

Toddlers

        • Supporting Young Toddlers’ Learning: 7-minute video from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care  shows how early educators help young toddlers express themselves in positive ways. Educators expand toddlers’ language as they talk, read, and play together and help toddlers explore how things relate to each other
        • Supporting Older Toddlers’ Learning: 8-minute video from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care shows how early educators support older toddlers’ learning by engaging children in conversations that go beyond the here and now, helping every child participate in language-building conversations, and using math talk
        • Early Signs of Autism: 23-minute video from the Kennedy Krieger Institute contrasts typical toddler play, communication, and interaction with that of toddlers showing early signs of autism spectrum disorder 

Preschoolers

Supporting Bilingualism

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

        • Betty Bardige, Ed.D
        • Brazelton Touchpoints Center: Offers professional development programs for individuals, organizations, and systems of care working with young children and their families
        • Early Childhood Investigations: Free webinars for early childhood professionals, many focused on language and literacy.
        • Hanen Centre: A premier source of professional and family resources on supporting language for children who are developing typically and those with a variety of communication challenges
        • Learning Circle Consultingoffers professional development for early educators and home visitors on topics including child development, language and literacy, special education, and STEM.
        • Resources for Early Learning: Video-based facilitated or self-paced workshops for early educators, focused on language, literacy, and STEM.
        • Ways with Words: A 6 session language and literacy course for early childhood professionals, developed in collaboration with family child care educators.

LEARNING TO READ IN ONE LANGUAGE OR MORE

        • Colorín Colorado: Resources for families and teachers of children in grades preK-12 who are English language learners. Good source for early literacy information and multilingual children’s books.
        • Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library
        • Make Time for Reading: Book for children and their parents tells the story of learning to read in pictures and rhymes. A parent tip accompanies each page.
        • Reading Rockets: Brings the best research-based strategies to teachers, parents, administrators, librarians, childcare providers, and anyone else involved in helping a young child become a strong, confident reader
        • ZERO TO THREE Early Literacy:  Includes a 6-minute video (32 Million Words) on reading with children from birth, plus featured video and print resources on supporting early language and literacy. 

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

        • Campaign for Grade-Level Reading: a collaborative effort of foundations, communities, and non-profit, government, and agency partners to promote grade-level reading by the end of 3rd grade — a key predictor of long-term success.
        • Family Place Libraries™: a network of children’s librarians who believe that literacy begins at birth and that libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families.
        • Partnerships for Change: Listening to the Voices of Families: Powerful 8-minute video from the Head Start National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement that shows how one tribal community came together to support their children.
        • Raising a Reader: Builds family book-sharing habits through weekly book deliveries and other supports.
        • Reach Out and Read: Encourages reading with babies and young children. Pediatricians and other health professionals give out books with “reading prescriptions”, show parents a variety of ways to engage young children of different ages, and share the language, social-emotional, and brain-building benefits of sharing books with children
        • Ready Rosie: Send parents daily messages and videos that model language-building conversations, in English & Spanish.
        • Sidewalk Math: Turn sidewalks into playgrounds that encourage math talk
        • StoryWalk: Post book pages in public places so families can take a story walk from one page to the next.
        • Strengthening Families: A protective factors framework: A research-informed framework that shapes efforts to build and build on family and community strengths to enhance child development and build resiliencies.
        • Too Small to Fail: A public awareness campaign to “close the word gap” and give all children a strong start. Its website & blog offer tips, research, & resources for parents and providers. 

ADVOCACY RESOURCES

        • Early Ed for President: Nonpartisan movement to make access to high quality early education a key election issue
        • Every Child Matters
        • For Our Babies (http://forourbabies.org)
        • MomsRising: Advocating for Maternity & Paternity Leave, Open Flexible Work, Toxin-Free Environments, Health Care for All, Early Care and Education, Realistic & Fair Wages, Sick Days Paid. Working for Gun Safety, Immigration Fairness for All, Nutritious Food for Kids!