(Source: Raisingchildren.net.au)

Make no mistake. Toddlers wear their hearts on their sleeves. No one expresses pure emotion quite like an 18 month old. From the sheer delight of enjoying the sticky goodness of an ice cream cone to the depths of despair when it’s time to leave the playground, toddlers give Oscar-worthy performances daily.

Child development research shows that parents, preschool teachers, and other caregivers can support the early language and early literacy development of young children by labeling those emotions and encouraging young children to use their words. Now, a new longitudinal study published in the journal Child Development indicates that toddlers with stronger early language skills show less anger as preschoolers.

Early language development helps preschoolers manage anger

Researchers studied 120 children starting at 18 months old until they turned 4 years old. Through home and lab visits, the research team measured children’s language development and their ability to cope with tasks that might lead to frustration, such as waiting to open a present. The team found that children with more advanced early language development skills at 18 months old and whose language abilities increased more quickly than other children expressed less anger at age 4. In addition to waiting patiently to open a present at age 3, the children with more language skills calmly sought their mother’s support while they waited. By age 4, those same children were better able to occupy themselves by talking out loud during the wait.

“Better language skills may help children verbalize rather than use emotions to convey needs and use their imaginations to occupy themselves while enduring a frustrating wait,” explained Pamela M. Cole, PhD, lead researcher, in a press release.

Early language development through music

Created by Kindermusik International, ABC Music & Me uses music to support young children’s early literacy and language development, including vocabulary acquisition. The ABC Music & Me early literacy curriculum is full of vocabulary-building opportunities. The Picture Vocabulary Cards in our preschool curriculum support unit-by-unit vocabulary, comprehension, memory, and pre-literacy skills. Plus, our stories, songs, and activities introduce students to hundreds of words and their meanings. In addition, we provide materials to increase parent involvement in early childhood education by connecting the learning from the classroom into the home.

For more information about using the ABC Music & Me early literacy curriculum in your classroom, school, or daycare, email us at info@abcmusicandme.com.

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