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It’s Basic- Talk, Sing, and Point

A photograph of a man holding a baby and smiling. Their bodies are facing each other, but their heads are turned together to the left and the baby is pointing at something out of frame. The logo for The Basics is superimposed on top with the icon or

Language learning starts early, and the best way to build vocabulary is through interaction. Talking, singing, and pointing are hallmarks of language learning, and the pillars of the second principle of The Basics. The Basics are a set of principles that help families maximize early learning so you can build a foundation for your child's cognitive, social, and emotional growth. In the second post in this series, we are sharing tips for “Talk, Sing, and Point”, the second principle of The Basics.

Why “Talk, Sing, and Point”?

Language learning is a collaborative process. When parents talk, sing, and point with their child, they are labeling the world around their little one and creating context for new words. Pointing and the use of gestures aid in communication between parent and child. Saying the word for an object when a child points to it will increase their vocabulary. Singing and rhyming helps children to work out the formation of words. These three elements work together to advance language development, and subsequently speed up learning about and understanding their surroundings.

Tips to Talk, Sing, and Point

Speak Parentese: the sing-song, positive voice helps capture your little one’s attention.

Be Your Own Narrator: Talk about what you’re doing throughout the day. Have conversations about your surroundings as you interact with your child.

Sing: Make up a silly rhyme to go with your nighttime routine. Or sing your favorite song that comes with its own movements. Think “The Wheels on the Bus” or “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

Gesture: Point to items as you talk about them, point to your child’s head, shoulders, knees, and toes as you dress them, point and describe things they’re interested in.

Ask the W’s: Ask your child who, what, or why. Show that you are interested in what they have to say and respond in kind.

HCPL’s Booklist to Talk, Sing, and Point

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean
Let’s Find Momo by Andrew Knapp
Baby Parade by Rebecca O’Connell
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera
Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz

For more information on The Basics, visit and read our post on the first principle, “Maximize Love, Manage Stress”.

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