Friday, February 13, 2009

When toddlers point a lot, more words will follow

When toddlers point a lot, more words will follow: "Don't just talk to your toddler — gesture, too. Pointing, waving bye-bye and other natural gestures seem to boost a budding vocabulary. Scientists found those tots who could convey more meaning with gestures at age 14 months went on to have a richer vocabulary as they prepared to start kindergarten. And intriguingly, whether a family is poor or middle class plays a role, the researchers report Friday.

Anyone who's ever watched a tot perform the arms-raised 'pick me up now' demand knows that youngsters figure out how to communicate well before they can talk. Gesturing also seems to be an important precursor to forming sentences, as children start combining one word plus a gesture for a second word."