Children in Gaza are in desperate need.
Donate today
By Simone Ziaziaris
15 July 2019

When we posted this video online, parents across Australia got talking - for all the right reasons. See why these dads are learning the most important language in the world.

When we see a baby most of us instinctively use baby talk. But it still does not come naturally to some of us. Baby talk may sound silly to you, but it isn’t to a child.

Babies find it easier to detect exaggerated sounds and facial expressions. It helps them develop their conversational skills and build their cognitive abilities. 

In the first 1,000 days, a baby’s brain develops at a pace never repeated again. Baby talk helps give a child the best start in life - and dads play a vital role.

With every precious moment spent interacting and playing with a child, dads help to build their baby’s brain. 

Baby talk

When Bongani’s son, Khuma was born, he took extra time off work so that he could be there for his newborn baby.

“One of the reasons I took those two weeks off is I wanted to be close to him. To hold him. To feel some sort of special bond - it’s difficult to explain - something emotion,” he says.

"Being with your new baby, it's both mentally and emotionally inspiring."

Bongani, Father

Bongani says that the most important part of fatherhood is being present and that spending time with a baby brings joy to both the parent and the child.


“I’m so happy—happy and proud. Sometimes when I walk to the mall to go shopping I just think of the funny things he does, the noises, and I just laugh right there in the street. He makes happiness in the house, even if we can’t sleep!”

“Fathers in previous generations were distant,” Bongani says. 

“Now we can chat with our children. It didn’t used to be that way. I would chat with my grandfather, but I couldn’t with my dad. We didn’t really bond in that way. We talk about it now and he’s told me that he regrets things. I hope not to have those regrets with Khuma, because we’ve bonded.”

Man holding son while walking in the street.
Before Khuma was born, Bongani, participated in a UNICEF-supported program called MenCare - a program to promote men’s involvement as equitable, nonviolent caregivers in order to achieve family well-being.
© UNICEF/UN0313022/Sokol

This Father’s Day, help encourage brain development by supporting dads and their children, just like Bongani and Khuma, play and learn together.

With every precious moment spent playing and interacting together, dads help to build their child's brain. The Father's Day Play & Learn Pack provides 100 pencils, 30 exercise books, 20 textbooks, and three soccer balls to help send children on a lifelong journey of learning and fun.

This Father’s Day, help dads everywhere

In 2019, every father should have the chance to help build their child's brain. UNICEF has a special Father’s Day gift that helps dads around the world create special moments and memories with their child. 

Here’s how it works

  1. Purchase a gift online from our Inspired Gifts shop to help send children on a lifelong journey of learning and fun.
  2. We’ll send a personalised card to your Dad telling him about the life-saving impact he’s making.
  3. Real tangible items will be dispatched from a UNICEF warehouse by car, boat or foot to wherever they're most needed.

There's no better way to show your dad how much you appreciate everything he's done to keep you happy, safe and protected.