Many parents are eager to help their toddlers develop their speaking skills. Luckily, there are lots of activities, encouragement strategies, and tips to help.
With this blog post, you’ll gain insight into how to best assist your toddler in achieving their speaking milestones.
Before we begin, let’s understand the basics of the age group and language development milestone so that you can take the correct action and do not panic if your child has not yet started speaking.
Cries express different needs
Babbles and coos with expression
Says first words like “mama” & “dada”
Uses simple sentences like “more cookie”
Has a growing vocabulary and begins to ask questions
Uses sentences of three to five words
Has good understanding of language and can answer questions
Understands most of what is said and speaks clearly
Uses complex sentences and has good language comprehension
Activities for Toddler Speech Development
One of the best ways to promote speech development in toddlers is through encouraging activities.
Some of the best activities include singing nursery rhymes, playing musical instruments, storytelling, reading aloud, interactive games such as charades and “Simon Says”, and engaging in imaginative play. These activities will help toddlers to gain rhythm, intonation, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar understanding.
- Singing nursery rhymes or playing musical instruments – encourages rhythm and intonation, both of which are important aspects of language. This can be done through singing with them, playing basic tunes on a keyboard or guitar, or joining them in any sort of musical activity.
- Storytelling – is another great activity for toddlers which helps them to get more acquainted with language, vocabulary and understand grammar.
- Reading aloud – While reading aloud allows them to gain exposure to new words and follow along with stories. It also promotes language understanding.
- Interactive Games – Additionally, interactive games such as charades and “Simon Says” are great for practicing and reinforcing proper speech.
- Imaginative Play is a wonderful activity for toddlers that encourages creativity and playfulness with language.
- Point & Ask – This is one of the most common starting points to encourage toddlers to talk. Adults point out objects and ask questions about them to get toddlers talking.
Simple questions should be used, such as “What color is the ball?”, encouraging toddlers to answer with a single word or more detail.
This strategy can help toddlers feel comfortable expressing themselves and reduce any frustrated attempts at communicating.
Fun Activities for Babies: Keep Your Little One Happy and Entertained
Here are some things to avoid when helping a toddler learn to speak:
– Avoid using too much baby talk as this can hinder their progress.
– Don’t be too critical if they make mistakes.
– Try not to use complicated words or sentences.
– Avoid saying “no” excessively.
– Be patient with them and don’t rush or pressure them.
– Don’t criticize their attempts at communication.
In addition to engaging activities, parents may also offer encouragement to help their toddlers with speaking.
Positive feedback is key, such as praising them when they use a new word or get better at pronunciation.
Modeling good speaking habits by using correct grammar, pronunciation, and tone is also helpful in teaching toddlers proper language etiquette.
Lastly, try to avoid saying “no” too often and instead, redirect toddlers to activities that help them learn and enhance their speaking capabilities.
It’s important to monitor your toddler’s speaking development and seek help from a medical professional if needed.
If you notice that your toddler is having difficulty with their speech development, or if there is a significant delay in their language milestones compared to those of other toddlers their age, it’s a good idea to reach out to a doctor, licensed speech therapist, or other healthcare provider for an evaluation. They can offer guidance on how to help your toddler progress.
A toddler usually learns to speak about 10-20 words after 12 months of age.
Helping toddlers develop their speaking skills takes a combination of activities, encouragement strategies, and patience.
All of these can be extremely beneficial in aiding toddlers in mastering the fundamentals of language.
With the right activities, encouragement, and optimization techniques, you can ensure that your toddler has the best opportunity to become a confident speaker.