Toddler Purgatory podcast

Maya Smart on Why Literacy Matters

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How do we instill a love of reading in our kids from a young age? Author and educator Maya Smart shares simple strategies for developing language skills in young kids. Maya Payne Smart is a parent educator, literacy advocate, and the author of Reading for Our Lives: A Literacy Action Plan from Birth to Six. Her website,, publishes new book lists, literacy activities, and other free family resources weekly to help parents play their dual roles as first teachers and educational advocates. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in social studies with honors from Harvard University. She serves as affiliated faculty in Educational Policy and Leadership in the College of Education at Marquette University. Blaire, Molly, and Maya discuss: How to build your child's language skills from a very early age The role of technology in kids' reading journeys How to personalize your child's reading experience A light touch of language development every day - mentioning how a certain letter sounds or looks on the page, for example - is a great way to foster your child's reading skills, rather than spending hours drilling phonics flashcards one rainy weekend. Just keep engaging with them in a consistent way - that's a great start! Here's where you can find Maya: @mayasmarty on IG @MayaSmart on Twitter Buy Maya's book: Special thanks to our sponsors for this month: If you’re looking for self-care that’s quick and easy, Athletic Greens is giving you a FREE 1-year supply of Vitamin D AND 5 free travel packs with your first purchase. Go to  Misfits Market is an affordable online grocery service that makes shopping easy, quick, and fun. Visit to get 50% off your first two orders when you use code LAUGHING50 by February 28, 2023.  Try Peloton Tread Risk-Free with a 30-day home trial. New members only. Not available in remote locations. See additional terms at  Ready, Set, Food! helps prevent food allergies in children. Go to & use code TODPURGS for 15% off your first order.  Ritual’s Essential for Women 18 and up is a multivitamin you can actually trust. Visit for 10% off during your first 3 months. Zocdoc is the only FREE app that lets you find AND book doctors who are patient-reviewed, take your insurance, and are available when you need them. Go to and download the Zocdoc app for FREE. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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