Point and Learn

POINT AND LEARN | Young minds are learning and growing each day as they are experiencing the world around them. Whether it is seeing a butterfly for the first time, or identifying the names of their favorite
transportation vehicles, children are fascinated by what they are learning. No matter what age, the
pointing and talking is valuable to build communication skills. For instance, with babies, pointing can be
used to learn the names of objects in order to support language as receptive learning is
acquired first. As toddlers’ vocabulary expands, they will begin to point on their own and adults can
have a conversation with them about what they see.

My three-year-old son is able to point and has learned to name what he sees. When he was younger, I supported his language by pointing out various objects, images, words, and numbers, and reinforcing the name of what we saw. In the earlier years, he would look and babble, but I know that he was listening. Whether it is a book or a song, it is important to point out and ask questions that will develop vocabulary skills. Even the simplest songs that your children enjoy hearing are providing meaningful repetition that will become a part of their memory for years to come!

One of my son’s favorite songbooks was “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and I would point to the words as I
sang them. Not only was he learning to track the print with his eyes, but he was learning how to
match the words with the sound of the song. I would ask questions such as, “Where is the star?” “What
color is the star?” I would provide the response when he was too young to give an answer, but as he got
older and started pointing on his own, he was able to share. Though the skills of Talk, Sing, and Point
seem simple, they are critical to the development of language skills. So the next time, your little one
grabs a book or wants you to sing a song, be sure to help them point and learn along the way!

–By Airreia Pierce | Visit Airreia’s website | Follow her on Facebook

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