Your child’s brain is primed to learn language in the toddler years. It’s the perfect time between 0-5 to set them up to be great talkers! Here are our Top 4 Tips to get your toddler talking!
With your child each and every day.
- Speak clearly: Make sure to speak clearly to your child and model good speech. They need lots of good input! Baby talk can be fun, but remember to show them the real, adult words as well. For example, “It is time for din-dins. We will have dinner now.”
- Repeat what your child says to show that you understand. Add on to what she says. Use more words like, “Want juice? I have juice. I have apple juice. Do you want apple juice?” Or, add 1-2 words to their sentence – if your child points and says “doggy!”, try saying “doggy’s walking”, or “a big, brown dog”
- Sing simple songs, and say nursery rhymes. This helps your child learn the rhythm of speech. Research also shows that children who know and can recite 8 nursery rhymes by 4, can help them to be stronger readers later! Check out this link for baby karaoke, with ideas and videos to help.
- During the toddler years, you will see your child’s play become more imaginative and diverse. Help your child make believe and pretend in their play. At about 3, children begin to act out pretend play scenarios with everyday activities like going shopping, making dinner, getting their haircut. This is a great way for them to use and learn lots of language. Join in and help introduce new words, and add in ideas if they get stuck. This also gives them someone to interact with while they play.
- Read books together. Some children love books, others are not so fussed. Remember to follow your child’s lead. If they don’t want to read the book word for word, or while sitting down – that’s OK. Try going with the flow and talking about the pictures. Some other tips are to let your child pick out books they want to read. When you choose them, look for high interest books that aren’t too wordy. A librarian can help you pick out age appropriate books. Don’t be afraid to read them again and again! This is great for language development.
What about speech sounds? Sound play can be useful in the toddler years. Early on, get face to face, or look in the mirror together and see if your child can copy some sounds like ‘mmm’, ‘puh’, ’tuh’.
Add funny sounds into your day, and play – kids tend to enjoy copying sounds like animal noises ‘moo’, car noises ‘beep’ and fun sounds like ‘wee’,’woosh’ on the swings, or ‘crash’ when playing with towers.
If you want to step up your sound play, check out the tips from a previous blog post found here.
If these things don’t help, or if you continue to have concerns about how much your child is talking, don’t wait! Since the toddler years are such a great time for learning talking, seek support early. Call our friendly team to chat further. We’re happy to share more tips to get your toddler talking!