Talk, read and play, with your child every day

Jennifer TraffisBy Jennifer Traffis, Director of Children & Family Services

A few years ago a group of committed early childhood education representatives, advocates and experts came together to answer the question: What do we want parents in Kansas City to know about how they can help their children succeed?

Here was the answer: parents should talk, read and play with their child every day. Such a simple answer, but as a parent I can say it isn’t always a simple task. Parents are pulled in many directions throughout their day, it can seem daunting to talk, read and play with your children each and every day. How can you be expected to do these things when you are busy taking children to child care, working, making dinner, doing laundry and bathing children? My solution has been that I build it into my day. On a flyer created by the Talk, Read, Play initiative they list some ways you can do just that:

•    Talk to your baby during bath time, play time, diaper changing, and feeding time. This is how your baby will learn the daily routine.

•    Help your child learn new words by explaining what is happening during the day. “You are using your spoon to eat your peas.”

•    Point out words inside and outside of your home. Point out written words on doors, traffic signs, billboards, boxes, cans and buses.

•    Children learn when they play. Give your child time to explore new objects, places and people. Play outside often!

One of our partner agencies, The Family Conservancy, provides further information, flyers and research to help any parent or caregiver discover ways they can incorporate talking, reading and playing into their day. Click here to view all these tools on Family Conservancy’s website.

I am proud that United Way of Wyandotte County was a partner in creating the Talk, Read, Play campaign and continues to be committed in sharing this important message.

For more insight on how the Talk, Read, Play, initiative began, check out this video:


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