How To Encourage Speech Development in Toddlers
Speech Development is quite a hot topic in the toddlerhood age. And I understand why. This is the age where the child will develop correct speech sounds and new vocabulary and will try to articulate that properly.
If you have read my last post "5 Speech Development Activities for Toddlers " (click on the link to read now!) , you must already know the Importance of why we must focus on Language and Speech Development Skills in the first three years of Life. But it doesn't stop there, we must continue to build and develop those skills further along the years.
Now let's dive into the topic and look at the 7 Simple Ways to Encourage Speech Development at home.
No Baby Talk
This is so so important, and I cannot emphasize on this Enough. Baby Talk with the child/toddler will only ruin his Speech and Speaking Abilities. So, if you want to improve your child's Speech, STOP Baby Talking with them Now!
Start talking like they are Adults or grown-up children. This helps them to understand the Actual words, and their meanings ; which in return will improve their Vocabulary.
Children have the ability to learn what we teach them. So why not teach them the correct Articulation of words from the Beginning? Use correct words, and correct pronunciation of these words.
Include them in Adult Conversations
Yes, you heard me right! Why should babies and toddlers be left out when we are talking with our families or friends? Let's include them too...
As we discuss with our family, for what to cook for Dinner on Sunday or to go out for the dinner. Ask your child's opinion too. Ask them what they would like to do? like to eat? like to wear,if going out? This conversation makes them feel inclusive and also helps them to understand that they are an important part of the family.
And in return you're working on their Speech Development skills like answering questions correctly, correct framing of words, knowing if the question requires a yes/no answer or a brief answer.
If you're planning for a Birthday Party, then include the child throughout the process of Planning , Preparation and the Party. So many opportunities to learn new words, and improve their vocabulary in just one event.
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Play with Letter Sounds and Animal Sounds
Letter Sounds play an important role in developing the correct articulation of the Language Sounds/Alphabet. No matter which Language you speak or are learning/teaching, the letter sounds of that language are very important to teach.
Animal sounds like - moo, oink , baaah, meow etc. help the child to use his palate in the mouth to produce different sounds. This ultimately helps in the correct articulation of the Speech Sounds and develops the child's speech.
Sing and Rhyme
Poems, rhymes, songs and music are a blast at our home. Songs and Rhymes teach the child Expressive Language, Rhythm and Non-Verbal Communication too.
The child learns to communicate the message correctly in fewer words. The child understands the progression of a story through a poem or a rhyme. It teaches them to look for Similarities and Differences in the situations and objects.
When Ridhima was small, we used to make silly and funny poems and songs just for fun! But what we don't realize is that the children are developing so many skills hidden behind these poems, rhymes and songs. Now you know, why the children are introduced to the Nursery Rhymes first, when they start school.
Practice saying new words everyday
Teach them new words everyday, anything and everything that you come in contact with. Road Signs, Body parts, Tree parts, Nature findings, Furniture names, Toys names etc.
Saying and repeating these new words will enhance their bag of vocabulary and the use of correct terms. When the child is playing with a car, teach them a few parts of the car. Ask them to point to that part, and say the word.
Describe what you see and do
A very simple activity and a tool to teach them how to form correct sentence structure. This activity will also teach them how to use the new vocabulary words learnt in the above activity.
Now we all have our children by our sides when we are cooking, cleaning , doing the dishes or folding the laundry. So let's use this time to our advantage. You can describe the activity you're doing like you can say , " Look this is your pant that I'm folding. Now let's put this in your drawer/cupboard. Do you know where your cupboard is ? Can you take me there?
You can describe the activity you're doing like you can say , " Look this is your pant that I'm folding. Now let's put this in your drawer/cupboard. Do you know where your cupboard is ? Can you take me there?
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Read to them everyday
Reading is one such activity which teaches not only morals and different subjects, it also teaches many more skills than that. This is very simple and straight-forward.
"" Read to your child everyday,until he can read on his own and then read some more even if he can read on his own.!! ""
Use different voices while reading for different characters, use tone variations, use hand-gestures to show something, use props to show elements of the story books. Cut out pictures or use stickers and make your own stories. Do anything and everything , that helps in Speech Development for the child.
Practice and Exposure to improve Speech Development
Consistent Practice and Exposure to New Vocabulary and Situations will help improve and develop Good Speech Skills in the child.
So make sure you do the above Activities and help your child speak fluently and more often.
(Disclaimer – This post is in no way passing judgment if your child is not speaking yet. If you have concerns, please talk to your pediatrician. Again, I am not a specialist. I’m just a mom with a few ideas.)
What are your favorite ways to boost your child’s speech? Let me know in the comments below!