Want your baby to be smarter? Maybe you’ve seen all the research that says to talk to her. A lot. Especially in those early months and years. And of course you know that – what is parenting these days if not an exercise in reading way too much research from too many experts? Even so, I know that talking to my own babies could get pretty monotonous, so for other parents — or caregivers — who might need a little inspiration from time to time, I think this new, hip line of conversation-starting bodysuits and blankets at TalkReadSing.org are so smart.
TalkReadSing is a campaign from the fantastic organization Too Small to Fail, which supports parents of children 0-5 in Oakland. Their focus is on closing the “word gap”—a difference of about 30 million more words that children in high-income families hear from parents and caregivers by the time they hit their fourth birthday, compared to those in low-income families. And that has a serious impact on academic achievement.
The cute conversation-starter bodysuits and blankets made by trendy t-shirt company Oaklandish are being distributed to new parents in the area who need them, all for free. As of the rest of us who might want one, you can order your own shirt from their website, and they’ll not only ship one to you, but your purchase helps get one to another child in need.
To know how important this is, you should definitely check out the recent study described in the New York Times’ The Power of Talking to Your Baby, which demonstrates that if parents in poverty talk to their infants as much as parents in higher economic brackets typically do, their kids perform just as well academically. In other words, there could be far less of a socioeconomic gap in academic performance in schools, if all parents talk our kids’ ears off. Wow.
Kudos to TalkReadSing for helping to do something about it in the cutest way.