A baby’s first word is a milestone that many parents will remember their entire life!  According to Circle of Moms survey, these are the 10 most common “Baby’s First Words”:

  1. Dad ( or Dada, Daddy, etc)
  2. Mom ( or Mama, Mommy)
  3. Hi
  4. Bubba
  5. Dog
  6. Ball
  7. No
  8. Cat
  9. Nana
  10. Bye

Why these words? Partly because the hard consonant sound is the easiest to make, so words with “D”, “H” and “B” are easier to say. But mostly these words are first because these are the words that they hear the most. Think about it. How many times does a toddler hear, “No, no!” As a mom, I remember many days of holding my baby in front of me saying, “Mama. Mama.” The goal? To make Mama their first word!

What would happen if we intentionally inserted “God” words into a young child’s life? What if we thought about the words that we wanted to make a part of their foundational vocabulary?   In Playing for Keeps, we read that “words impact the direction of a child’s life”. What if we were intentional to begin to impact that direction from the very earliest of conversations?

What if we simply made a list of those words we want them to know? Words like:

“God”

“Bible”

“Jesus”

“Pray”

“Joy”

“Heaven”

“Peace”

Ok, maybe that last one is wishful thinking for parents of little ones…..

While these are a good start, what word would you add? Be intentional to add these words to your conversations so that your little ones will hear them, day in and day out.

If you serve with preschoolers, take time to talk with your team and with your parents about what words you intentionally want to introduce to your children on Sundays. Make a list and let your parents know that you are going to focus on using those words often so that their child will recognize them and know what they mean.

For the youngest of your few, it may be that finding board books with pictures of Bible words would be the best tool to introduce those words. For your toddlers, it means using those words as you are playing simple games every week.

As you introduce these words to your children, you will impact their life in a way you never imagined.

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Barbara Graves

Barbara loves God, children's ministry, coffee, the Braves, and her granddaughter Eden-Grace. She's been in ministry for over 30 years and wishes she didn't have to sleep so she could write, teach, and read a little more.

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