Chatter to your children.
The greatest gift a parent can give their child... the gift of language!
The choices for baby toys have never been so expansive or expensive as they are today. The free gift, that is perhaps more valuable than any that can be purchased, the gift of language.
Children today are born into a world of noise and bustle but rich in language? not always. When baby's learn language it is through connection. When a parent looks their baby in the eye as a newborn and talks to them, they begin to acquire language. When a parent talks to a child as they push them in the pram, they are guided to do more than simply observe their world, they are aided in making connections and developing their language.
A young child sitting in a pram may see a garbage truck go by. They will no doubt observe it and the level of noise. Perhaps they'll observe that it looks different to the other things they have seen so far on their outing.
But, if a parent who is pushing the pram, stops, says 'look truck', 'garbage truck' and gets down to the child's level, points to the truck, checks the child is following the direction of the gesture... This child has begun to connect the word 'truck' to an object, a certain noise to that same label of a 'truck', and even perhaps begun to process the gesture of pointing and how that is used to communicate. This child has been aided in making connections and developing their language just through an everyday interaction between parent and child.
A retired child psychologist and educationalist Valerie Yule in an interview on ABC highlighted just this idea of the chatter that is missing today between parents and their children. It is a great read!