Simply Smart Kids’ New Product Boosts Early Child Development

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Simply Smart START! P.O.W.E.R. Tools™ teaches parents five research-based strategies for maximizing early child development and building a strong language and literacy foundation.

Simply Smart Kids, LLC ( has launched its debut product, Simply Smart START! P.O.W.E.R. Tools™. This cutting-edge system teaches parents five proven strategies for advancing early child development in the areas of language and cognition.

Founded in 2007 by four passionate Michigan educators determined to help moms and dads “parent smarter, not harder,” Simply Smart Kids promises parents “simple changes, smarter kids.” “We were seeing more and more kids each year entering Kindergarten without a solid language and literacy foundation in place. As hard as they and their teachers worked, these kids rarely caught up. Our mission became clear: help parents understand and make the most of their role as their child’s first teacher so their kids can thrive in school and in life,” said Susan Coon, Speech-Language Pathologist and co-founder of Simply Smart Kids.

Faced with increasing pressure to make sure their child is “ready” for school, many parents purchase each new educational toy or video that comes on the market or sit and drill their child with flashcards, but, according to Simply Smart Kids, parents should focus less on “stuff” and more on talk.

Simply Smart START! P.O.W.E.R. Tools™ is based on the groundbreaking research of Hart and Risley (Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children, 1995), who determined through several years of exhaustive data collection in the homes of their subjects, that the more talk children hear between the ages of 0-3, the higher their IQs, the stronger their vocabularies, and the more academic success they will experience several years later. Recent studies that have tracked children’s academic performances throughout their school years have proven that the vast majority of children who enter Kindergarten with low vocabulary and language skills will still be struggling academically many years later.    

Simply Smart START! P.O.W.E.R. Tools™ teaches parents how to increase the quantity and quality of talk to their children by using the following five strategies, or P.O.W.E.R. Tools: Playing With Sounds; Observe and Comment; Words and Meanings; Expand and Enhance; and Raising Questions. These strategies, used consistently, have been shown to improve a child’s receptive and expressive language skills, cognitive skills, vocabulary, and phonological awareness, all essential to academic success.

Simply Smart START! P.O.W.E.R. Tools™ consists of five DVDs, a guidebook, and vocabulary-building cards. Unlike products such as Baby Einstein and Your Baby Can Read, which include DVDs for babies to watch, Simply Smart START!’s DVDs are designed to teach parents. They include scenes with real moms and dads using the P.O.W.E.R. Tools while engaging with their kids so parents can actually see the strategies in action.

“It’s well known these days that babies learn best from interactions with real people. For a very young child, time spent in front of a screen is time wasted,” said Dr. Berna Ravitz, former Elementary School Principal and co-founder of Simply Smart Kids.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, television and videos provide no educational benefits for infants and toddlers and may increase the risk of obesity, behavioral issues, and academic problems.

Simply Smart Kids stresses that the P.O.W.E.R. Tools are not something “extra” for parents to do; they are designed to be easily integrated into all daily routines and settings. “The time to work on language and literacy is all day long. The place is everywhere: the grocery, the car, the bath. Building Simply Smart START! P.O.W.E.R. Tools™ into your day is the best way to build a solid language and literacy foundation and get your child ready for school,” said Stacey Sharpe Mollison, Elementary School teacher and co-founder of Simply Smart Kids.

To purchase Simply Smart START! P.O.W.E.R. Tools™, watch video samples, or learn more about this product, visit

Diane Hanaway
Simply Smart Kids, LLC

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Susan Coon