Top 7 Ways to Encourage Language and Speech Development in Toddlers

New parents are always excited about the day their little one will start talking. While your baby responds to you from birth, there are many ways in which you can encourage better engagement with your toddlers.

Chatting with them and communicating in a positive manner will foster better results for language and speech development. Learning to talk may take different amounts of time in different children, but as a parent, you can contribute in this process right from day one.

We bring you the top 7 ways you can interact naturally with toddlers and encourage speech development:

Always Opt for Two-Way Communication, right from The Beginning

From the time your baby is born, don’t just have a one-way conversation telling him about what’s happening. Pay attention to their cries, nonverbal gestures and sounds to have a meaningful conversation. If you ask a question, take a 10 second pause and give your baby time to answer. It may not work right from the start, but in the long run, it will truly help.

Exposure to New Situations

While it is important to keep talking about daily activities; it is also important to expose him to new situations. Take him on a bus ride or for a walk and talk about the things you see outside. Look and point at the things you describe. From 6 months, babies can follow your gaze and look at the exact object you describe.

Picture Books Are Toddlers’ Best Friends

To encourage love for books and help your toddler in language development, it is best that reading sessions are always child-led. If your child wants to stay on a page for 5 minutes, or not finish the book, let him do it his way. You can also tell stories on a daily basis to motivate speech development amongst children.

Body Language Matters

When you are talking to your child, say her name first and make eye contact so she knows you are interacting. It also helps to not have interruptions around as your toddler can focus on what you are saying.

Respect his Words, even if it is Babbling

Initially, toddlers are unable to pronounce words clearly. But you should try to repeat the full words and listen to what they are saying for better speech development. So if your kid points at a banana and says ‘nana’, you should repeat and say, ‘Here’s a banana’.

Signs and Gestures

After babies turn seven months old, they start using hand and body gestures. ‘Don’t want’, ‘look’, ‘pick me up’ and ‘no’ are some of the common gestures used by babies. Express these gestures in words to your baby. You can teach more of these gestures so that as babies grow up, words and gestures start turning into complete sentences.

Have Fun with Nursery Rhymes

Songs and rhymes are a great way to teach words to your little one. Pick rhymes with actions to make this activity even more fun; for eg: ‘Row row, row your boat’. It is highly likely that your kid will start joining you in this activity. Rhymes help speech and language development amongst toddlers.

When engaging in all these activities, remember to be patient and slow down at times. Don’t pressurize your toddler to speak or communicate. They will interact with you as per their pace and understanding. Be patient and enjoy this journey of speech exploration together!

Share your experiences of interacting with your toddler and encouraging speech development in your little one in our comments below. Thanks!

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One Comment

  1. Catharine November 26, 2015 Reply

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