Developing language skills at an early age is important for children. It is language that enables us to convey our thoughts and feelings. When kids learn how to use language, they learn to effectively express themselves and exchange information with others.
On the other hand, a delay in language development may make them frustrated and struggle when trying to get a message across.
How to start boosting toddler language development?
As parents, you play a critical role in helping your child develop their language skills. You can help them do more of what they’re already doing and further encourage their attempts to communicate. Keep reading and learn how to boost your toddler’s language development.
To help your toddler expand their language skills, one of the best things you can do is to create opportunities. Look for ways to encourage your child to practice their communication skills. For example, instead of immediately giving what they want, give them a little challenge so that they ask you for help. Make their toys a little out of reach and wait for them to ask you to hand it to them. There are many ways you can create opportunities for practicing language skills. Look around your home or squeeze it in your daily activities. When singing a nursery rhyme, don’t finish all the lines. Instead, pause in the middle and encourage them to fill in the blanks. The goal is to encourage them to do express themselves more through the opportunities you create.
When you go about the daily activities with your child, make it like a storytelling session. Narrate the steps involved in a certain task or activity. During breakfast, for instance, you can tell your child what’s involved in preparing their meal. You can tell them “Now we’re going to pour in the milk to your cereal” or “We’re spreading peanut butter on this side of the bread and your favorite jam on the other side”.
Make time for reading
Another excellent way to help enhance your toddler’s language skills is to read them as often as you can. There is no better time to read to them than now. So while they are young, make the most of every opportunity to read stories to them especially before bedtime. Start with simple board books. Then, later on, you can switch to picture books. Not only will this activity help boost a toddler’s language development, but it will also awaken their love of books.
Follow their interest
If your child has shown an interest in anything they have seen on TV or in a book, keep talking about it. Ask them questions about it. For example, if they were amused at the pictures of dinosaurs, show them photos of other types of dinosaurs and describe each type to them. Insert questions in between so that it becomes a two-way interaction.
Let them enjoy good music
Language development isn’t only limited to improving a child’s communication skills through words. It also involves other forms of self-expression and one way to encourage your toddler to express themselves is through music. Play some music you both enjoy and encourage them to dance to its rhythm. Also, try playing kids songs they can sing along with. This will help them practice words and explore more ways to express themselves.
Embed learning words and letters into your child’s play
Learning letters and new words doesn’t have to be boring for kids. You can make it more fun and exciting by having it embedded into their play. Start with whatever they are interested in. If they are fond of playing puzzles, maybe you can buy them letter puzzles they can play with. Integrate teaching moments by slowly introducing the letters of the alphabet throughout their playtime.
Learning language skills at an early age empowers children because it gives them the ability to communicate and convey their thoughts, needs and feelings. Try the given tips to help boost your child’s language development.
Here at Handprints Academy, we make sure that each and every child receives all the help they need to learn essential life skills for their future success. Feel free to contact us for more information.