Time to Talk it Out: Developing speech with your babies and toddlers
posted by: Guest Blogger
As the blossoms begin to bloom and buds begin to open, we find fresh sights and sounds to talk about with our children. It’s a wonderful time to point out new colors, shapes and smells. This helps them learn new words too. What better way for your child to grow into a chatter than getting excited about the world as it changes.
One of the most important things you can do with your child is talk out loud to fill their brains with language, and help them learn how to use it. Let’s seize this springtime opportunity!
April is National English Language Month and we’ve gathered some awesome tips to encourage you and your child to have conversations.
Language development is super important in the first year of babies lives and even before they are born!
- Believe it or not, you should start talking to your baby before he is born, so go ahead moms, talk to your tummy.
- Once baby is born, try talking to your baby close-up so she can watch your lips move and connect that to sound. Eventually she will imitate those movements and form her first sounds. Take a peek at this video to find out how!
- Show your young child how to tell you he is feeling hungry by putting his hand on his mouth or rubbing his belly. If you do this over and over and then give him food while saying the word “hungry,” your child will pick up the symbol and learn to talk to you with his hands.
- When you’re having a snack, talk with your baby about what you’re doing. “When I bite an apple, it makes a crunch sound. When you have teeth, you’ll eat apples too.”
In your child’s second year, you’ll start to hear them form real words!
- Talk about things you use every day, such as utensils, food and toys. Ask your child to name familiar objects and give him time to think and respond.
- When reading with your child, make sure to talk about the images your child touches. Later ask him to show you the image and see if he can point it out.
- As a baby gets better at talking, it is important to learn the rhythm of taking turns in a conversation.
As your child toddles, their babble becomes clear and direct, but you still need to make learning to talk fun!
- Let your child explore her reflection while you talk about what she is doing. This helpful video can show you how.
- Instead of speaking as usual, try singing in a different voice. When you put new words into tunes and describe what you are doing, you help your child make new and unusual connections.
- Give your preschooler your full attention. Even a quick but focused connection may fill your child’s need for communication. If she says “Play with me,” and you are not available, you might explain why or say, “I had a hard day at work today. I need three minutes to change then I can play with you.”
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