AMHERST. N.Y. – Parents are wearing a few extra hats during the pandemic. Probably the toughest one is that of a teacher.

If you're looking for some assistance, or a new idea, a local author has you covered. 

What You Need To Know

  • Western New York authors adds a sequel just for dads

  • Talk, Play, and Read with Me Daddy is a recipe book for activities

  • Books are for ages infant to five

  • There's also a version just for mom 

Jo Ann Gramlich is a speech-language pathologist at ECMC Peds. She's also an aunt to 12 nieces and nephews. So, she knows just a thing or two about the importance of keeping an open dialogue with kids, at all ages. 

"Majority of learning takes place within the home, birth through 5-years-old," Gramlich said. 

In 2014, she wrote her book 'Talk, Play and Read with Me Mommy.' During the pandemic, she saw an opportunity to write a new chapter for learning. 

"It's definitely a time where a lot of the activities are taking place within the home, instead of at school," Gramlich said. "So, it's an opportunity for parents to provide that emotional support, self-esteem, safety net, the security to help their child feel comfortable and learn." 

This time, the lessons are geared toward dads. 

"Everybody is so busy, you either have the single parent dad, the two-family dad, the dad that's on the go, the dad that's always out of town," Gramlich said. "So, the point is to get all parties out of town." 

Gramlich has taken verbal activities, games, and any ideas she's learned along the way and written a road map you can take anywhere. 

"The book pretty much, it's set up as a recipe book. It tells you what you need, how to get there, what to look for, sample dialogue on what you can expect for certain ages." 

Gramlich says beyond the book make time for your kids, at least 15 to 20 minutes a day to talk, read or play. She says it's as simple as taking them into the kitchen and walking them through baking cookies, mixing up some memories along the way.