Fill The Page Theory

So what is this Fill the Page Theory anyway? It’s actually very simple and if you’d rather watch than read, check out this video.

For the readers, here goes…

The Fill The Page Theory explains that every child is born with a brain like a beautiful, but empty, book. The book is full of a million empty pages and each page of the book represents a different word or idea. Each experience with a specific word is like a mark on that word’s page. Once that page is completely filled with marks (meaning experiences), the child can fully understand and use that word. That word is now a page in THEIR book and part of their story. Then another page and another page are filled. And with each word, their story unfolds.

For example, my daughter’s first page or word was “uh-oh”. She had many, many experiences with that word, therefore many marks on the page. She dropped something and Daddy said, “Uh-oh.” The dog knocked over her toys and Mommy said, “Uh-oh.” “Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh!” Soon the page was filled with marks and my daughter was creating reasons for saying “uh-oh” herself (like throwing her toy across the room).

The best part about the Fill The Page Theory is that it applies equally well to children who are learning language easily and children who are having a little more difficulty.

The only difference is that a child who learns language easily may have a smaller book, with smaller pages that get filled more quickly with fewer marks. Whereas, a child who is having a little more difficulty learning language may have a little bit bigger book, with bigger pages, that take a few more marks to fill the page. If your child is having trouble, it doesn’t mean he or she can’t learn language, it just means your child needs even more great interactions with real experiences to put even more marks on the page. Basically you’ve just got a little more loving, playing, and fun to focus on with your child!

AND don’t worry because we’re going to help you each step of the way…

The next stop for you on your journey is our post Good Page, Bad Page. It will help you figure out which pages to start filling. At the bottom of Good Page, Bad Page look out for the link to the final post (Talk Less, Talk Smart) in the foundations of Little Stories.

  1. Caroline S. says:

    Around 8-9 months my son started to say/babble ” ma ma” quite frequently. Now at 10 months old, he no longer says it. Is there anything I can do to get him saying ma ma again? Is there any cause for concern?

    • Kim says:

      Hi Caroline. It’s so great that you are already thinking about your son’s language development. If you ever have any concerns about his development it’s a great idea to contact someone in your area who can talk about your son’s concerns specifically and evaluate whether or not there are areas of difficulty. At his age you would most likely be looking for your state’s birth to three or birth to five early intervention agency.

      I can tell you that when children are babbling they make many sounds that are not necessarily meaningful. Babies sometimes practice a sound and then put it aside for a time while they are working on other sounds. Also, don’t forget that understanding language and using nonverbal communication are just as important as verbalizations, so right now I would focus on playing, singing, and reading simple books to make sure I was giving him lots of experience with words and nonverbal communication and putting marks on those pages! Building a strong foundation of language will fill the pages more quickly and allow you to one day hear words that are communicated meaningfully. Have fun and keep me posted on your sons story.