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A New World!

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What's "old hat" to you can be new and exciting to
preschoolers. When you talk about everyday experiences,
you help children connect their world to language and
enable them to go beyond that world to new ideas.

As you get dinner ready, talk to your child about things that
are happening. When your 2- or 3-year-old "helps" by taking
out all the pots and pans, talk about them. Which one is the
biggest? Can you find a lid for that one? What color is this one?

When walking down the street and your toddler stops to collect
leaves, stop and ask questions that require more than a "yes"
or "no" answer. Which leaves are the same? Which are different?
What else grows on trees?

Ask "what if" questions. What would happen if we didn't shovel
the snow? What if that butterfly lands on your nose?

Answer your children's endless "why" questions patiently.
When you say, "I don't know, let's look it up" you show how
important books are as resources for answering questions.

After your preschooler tells you a story, ask questions so
you can understand better. That way children learn how to
tell complete stories and know you are interested in what
they have to say.

Expose your children to varied experiences--trips to the library,
museum, or zoo; share comments, and ask questions.

Talking helps children to expand their vocabulary and understanding
of the world. The ability to carry on a conversation is important for
their reading development. So keep up the 'good' talk!

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