Children who learn—and then leave behind—an early second tongue may retain more of it than they think: In a recent study, twenty- and thirtysome-things who'd learned Hindi or Zulu as kids were able to recognize subtle pronunciation differences almost as well as native speakers, after a little practice. Wanna bet that helped with middle-school language classes?

to the letter

These gorgeous cutout letters from eeBoo can pull double duty: When your baby's little, you can prop them on a mantel or ledge to display the alphabet (or, possibly. her name). Once she gets bigger, hand them over for her to play with—the hard cardboard is nontoxic and resists wear-and-tear—or take them along on grocery outings to illustrate that, yes, "A" Is for "Apple." (Happy Parade Alphabet Cut-Out Letters, $16; eeBoo.com)

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