January 2018 – Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! At our New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, we once again asked kids to write down a resolution for the coming year. My three-year-old son, Bennett said “Go out every day”…almost verbatim for what he offered as his resolution last year. “Going out” isn’t the only thing he likes to do over and over again. For example, he arranges for us to have Lego Class in our house almost every morning before I leave for work.

He also needs to listen to the same songs repeatedly like Pinkfong’s recording of “Baby Shark.” Curses for the East Hampton Library for ever introducing it to him! The song is only one and a half minutes long, but as an ear worm, it’s ten times worse than “Everything is Awesome.” Apparently, “Baby Shark” is a viral sensation, but like most viruses, you don’t want to catch it.

My one-year-old son, Grant is also obsessed with repetition. In addition to hearing “Baby Shark” played over and over, he insists that I read Good Night, Gorilla to him at least four times in a row. If you’re not familiar with the work, it’s about a gorilla that steals keys from the security guard at a zoo and unlocks the cages of other animals. All of the animals follow the guard back to his house. (I won’t spoil how it ends.) Since there are less than ten words in the whole book, I spend most of my time narrating the action, which includes questioning why there is a baby bottle and binky in the armadillo’s cage and how come the security guard doesn’t close the door to his house after he comes back from the zoo.

At the Museum, when I complain about my children’s lack of variety, Liz Bard, CMEE’s Education Director assures me that repetition is vital for early childhood education. Repeatedly hearing the same book or visiting the same exhibit at the Children’s Museum helps children organize, accommodate and eventually master their environment. In fact, researchers in the U.K. found that hearing the same storybook read multiple times in succession substantially increased the vocabulary of three-year-old children. I’ll try to keep that in mind the next time I’m asked to reread Green Eggs and Ham immediately after I’ve just finished it.

What’s on continuous repeat in your home? Feel free to send me a message directly or share it on our Facebook page.

Sincerely,

Steve