Parents know that the more they talk to their babies, the more quickly the kids learn to speak. What they may not know is that in the preverbal stage, babies get just as much from gestures. Psychologists at the University of Chicago found that at 14 months of age, babies may have a wide range of gestures that serve as stand-ins for language and that they pick them up from parents too. At 4½ years, the babies with the best gestural vocabulary had the best spoken one as well.
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