babytalk2Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers

Issue No. 54, November 2015


I Said I Want a Red Bowl: Responding to Toddlers’ Irrational Behavior

Amelia, told that she can’t have a fifth book before bedtime, shouts: “You are the meanest mommy! You are not invited to my birthday party!” Seen through the eyes of the child, and through the lens of development, this behavior is utterly normal, and a signal that important milestones are being achieved. This article by Claire Lerner highlights what the behaviors may mean and how family members and caregivers can respond to them.


Two-Year-Old Vocabulary Predicts Kindergarten Success

A recent study linking early vocabulary skills to kindergarten success highlights the importance of early intervention. Analysis of data from a longitudinal sample revealed that 24-month-old children with larger oral vocabularies displayed greater reading and mathematics achievement, increased behavioral self-regulation, and fewer externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors at kindergarten entry.


What’s Too Scary for Children at Different Ages?

In this article, Marilou Hyson talks about young children’s fears, and how each child is different. She shares that it’s difficult to give hard and fast rules about what may be overwhelming for all children at different ages, and offers insights for how adults can watch for clues that something is scary.


Context Beats Quantity for Teaching Children New Words

Children learn words best when they hear them in a context that’s understandable, a new study shows. This context is critical for understanding why some words may be easier for kids to learn than others. Findings of a recent study suggest that using words in fun, coherent activities is more important than simply talking more to children.


Video Series Can Help Support Early Math Skills in Infants and Toddlers

Research shows that a strong understanding of early math concepts predicts a child’s future math and literacy skills. A new series of videos from ZERO TO THREE, Let’s Talk About Math!, demonstrates behaviors for interacting with infants and toddlers to help build the foundation of these skills. Each video is accompanied by a handout to help family members and caregivers support these skills at home and on-the-go. Three videos focusing on shapes and counting are now available and more will be coming later this year. The videos and handouts are also available in Spanish. (English) (Spanish)


Listen, Talk, and Answer to Support a Child’s Language Development

When your children come home with stories to share, do you stop what you are doing and listen carefully? Your child probably asks a lot of questions. Do you try to answer them? Educators call these daily conversations powerful interactions because they help adults and children keep in touch and they also support children’s learning. This article offers some communication tips and examples of the types of things to say.

Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed each month. Each issue features one or more resources, the majority of which are available to download at no cost.  To join the listserv, send an email with no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.eduTo suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at or (919) 966-6635.