When it comes to teaching your toddler how to talk and develop their language skills, there are a lot of things you can do to help them learn.
It’s important that you teach your child the right way, so they can communicate effectively with others when they grow up.
With this in mind, we are going to be looking at 21 tips that can help you when it comes to teaching your child to speak and develop their language skills.
We will also look at some ways you can encourage your child to use their newfound communication skills.
Start Taking To Your Baby As Soon As Possible
Babies love to hear their mother or father speaking to them. This is one of the best ways to get them used to listening to words spoken by people.
If you start talking to your baby from birth, then your child will have no problem learning to talk later on.
One method of teaching a little one early is by dictating everything that you do whilst your child is around.
You could say “I am putting my shoes on” or “I am taking my coat off” as soon as you put them on or take them off as an example! Turn everyday experiences into opportunities for your child to practice their speech.
Start Off Small And Build Up From There
If you want your child to learn to speak properly, then you need to make sure you start small. Instead of giving your child a whole book full of words, start off with just a few words.
For instance, if you want your child to say ‘ball’, then start off by saying “ball” once or twice. Once your child gets used to hearing those words, then gradually increase the number of times you repeat the word over time.
Use Music To Help Them Learn
Music has been proven to be very beneficial when it comes to helping children learn how to communicate, as they can learn certain gestures and words through music.
By playing songs such as ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ or ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’, you can teach your child to sing along and even learn new words. Listen to music with them, or even make some music of your own!
Even if you have little to no musical skills, you can easily utilize basic instruments such as maracas or xylophones to create simple tunes.
The more you expose your child to different types of sounds and music, the better chance they have of developing good language skills.
Verbal Labels Are Important
When it comes to teaching toddlers how to speak, verbal labels are extremely important. These are words that describe objects or actions. They allow your child to know what they are doing and where they are going.
In order to teach your child these labels, you should give them lots of examples of the object or action being described.
For instance, if your child wants to go outside, you could tell them “We are going outside” instead of saying “Let’s go out”.
This helps them understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. If you don’t use verbal labels, then your child will not be able to learn anywhere near as effectively.
Limit Television And Screen Time
There is something to be said for certain educational television shows, apps, and games, but too much screen time can actually hinder your child’s development. It can cause them to become hyperactive and lose focus.
When it comes to your toddler developing communication skills, it is all about balance. Make sure you limit your child’s exposure to television and other screens, so they can develop at their own pace.
One of the most effective ways to help your child learn to speak is to socialize with other children. As well as having fun together, this also allows your child to learn how to interact with others.
Playing in groups gives your child the opportunity to practice their communication skills and learn how to converse with others.
Socializing with other adults is important for their speech and communication development too, as they can learn from the way people talk and behave.
Don’t Force Your Toddler To Talk
It is natural for babies and young children to babble and chatter away, however, forcing your child to talk isn’t always the best idea.
You may think that if you force your child to talk, then they will eventually get the hang of it. However, this is not necessarily true.
Children who are forced to talk often resort to using sign language or mouthing rather than talking. This makes it harder for them to form proper sentences and to learn how to express themselves properly.
Children need time to figure out how to communicate with others, so try not to push your child too hard to speak.
Reading Books Is Great
Reading books to your toddler is a great way to encourage them to start speaking. There are many benefits to reading aloud to your child, including:
- Helping them to develop vocabulary
- Teaching them to read and write
- Encouraging them to listen to stories
- Improving their comprehension skills
Reading with a toddler not only offers these benefits, but it also helps them to develop their imagination and creativity.
The more time you spend reading to your children, the better chance they have of developing good language skills.
Use Their Interests To Get Them Excited About Communicating
When it comes to encouraging your toddler to speak, there are two main things you need to do.
Firstly, you need to make sure they are interested in communicating with you by making it fun.
Secondly, you need to make it interesting for them. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use their interests to get them started.
For example, if your child likes cars, then you could buy a car toy and play with it while you answer their questions.
By playing with toys that interest them, you are giving them an incentive to want to communicate with you. Or, if they love dinosaurs, then you could buy a dinosaur toy and play with it when they ask you questions.
If you find that your child doesn’t like any particular toys, then you can still get them involved in learning to communicate through different activities such as drawing pictures or singing songs. Just make sure you keep it fun!
Incorporate Visual Aids Into Your Conversations With Your Child
One of the best ways to encourage your child to speak is to incorporate visual aids into conversations. This means that you should be able to show your child what you mean when you say something.
For example, if you are telling them a story, you could point at the characters on the page or give them a picture book to look at.
When you are teaching your child new words, you should also be able to show them examples of what those words mean.
For example, if they know the word ‘ball’, then you could take one out and show them. This will help them understand what you are saying.
Open-ended toys are great tools for helping toddlers to communicate. These types of toys allow your child to explore and discover things on their own.
They don’t require your input to complete tasks and they usually come with instructions. Some open-ended toys include puzzles, building blocks, construction kits, and dolls.
Open-ended toys are great because they allow your child to interact with their environment and learn about other people.
They also teach them about life and the world around them. So, if you are looking for some exciting toys to encourage your child to talk, try some open-ended toys.
Incorporate Verbal Communication Learning Into Everyday Life
If you want to encourage your child to learn how to speak, then you need to make sure that you are incorporating verbal communication learning into everyday life.
This includes talking to your child, asking them questions, responding to their questions, and using gestures and facial expressions to help them learn.
For example, when you go grocery shopping, you could ask your child to point at the items on the shelves, and you could, then, explain to them what each item means. You could also talk about the food while you cook dinner.
Be aware of the fact that children learn by doing. So, if you want your child to learn how to speak, you should be doing lots of speaking yourself.
Try to have conversations with your child every day and respond to their questions whenever possible. Also, make sure that you are always listening to what they are saying so that you can repeat back what they said.
Finally, if you want to encourage your toddler to speak, then you should be encouraging them to talk to others too.
This way, they will start to see that speaking is not only important for themselves, but also for others. It will help them to develop language skills and become more confident.
Play Games That Require Them To Speak
Playing games that require your toddler to speak is an excellent way to encourage them to speak. The reason this works, it helps them to practice communicating in real situations. Playing these games will also help them to build confidence.
One example would be games with expansion language cards. These cards contain pictures and sentences that expand as you read through them.
If you use these cards together, your child will soon begin to notice that there are different words on the card and that they sound similar.
This will help them to learn how to identify sounds and, eventually, how to pronounce words.
The Importance Of Movement Activities
When you want your toddler to learn how to speak and develop language skills, you should incorporate movement activities into your daily routine.
This will help your child to improve their motor skills and increase their attention span. There are many ways to do this.
For instance, you could play a game like peekaboo or hide and seek. You could also take turns playing games like freeze tag or musical chairs.
You could even get creative and create your own movement activity that incorporates verbal communication and gestures for your toddler to learn.
Avoid Overuse Of A Pacifier
Overusing a pacifier may actually hinder your child from developing speech.
In fact, some studies suggest that overusing a pacifier may cause problems such as tongue-tie, which prevents proper breathing and causes other health issues.
A pacifier is fine- even beneficial- to a toddler in moderation, but overuse may lead to a lack of interest in oral development.
Speak Slowly, But Don’t Always Use Stereotypical Baby Language
Speaking slowly is one of the best things you can do to teach your child to speak. However, don’t just use stereotypical baby talk all the time. Instead, try to speak naturally and keep your voice steady.
When you speak slowly, you give your toddler plenty of time to process what you say. They will quickly pick up on your tone of voice and understand when you are talking about something serious or when you are joking around.
Also, slow down when you are teaching them new vocabulary. By slowing down, they will remember the word better.
Repetition Is Key
Repetition is key when teaching toddlers to speak. As mentioned before, repetition helps them to learn and memorize new information. Therefore, you should repeat everything that you say at least three times.
Make sure that you repeat the same thing each time so that your toddler learns how to recognize the pattern.
It is important that you repeat words that have multiple syllables, since they are more difficult to pronounce correctly.
Also, make sure that you repeat the last word in every sentence. This will help your toddler to become familiar with the concept of “the end of a sentence.”
Do Not Treat Every Gesture As A Form Of Communication
Gestures are great tools for toddlers to communicate with others. However, not every gesture has meaning. Some gestures are simply random movements, while others are used to express emotions.
Therefore, if you see your toddler making a gesture, ask yourself: Is it intentional? If yes, then go ahead and respond accordingly. If not, then it doesn’t need to be treated as a form of communication.
Guided Playtime Is Important
Guided playtime is an effective way to teach toddlers to speak. The idea behind guided playtime is simple: you tell your toddler exactly what he/she needs to do during the play session.
This is especially useful when you are trying to teach your toddler to speak because it allows him/her to practice speaking without having to worry about getting it wrong.
It also gives you the opportunity to correct any mistakes that your toddler makes.
Allow Expectant Pauses To Happen
Expectant pauses happen when a toddler says something and waits for their parent to respond. These pauses allow the toddler to think about what he/she said and get ready to continue speaking.
Therefore, instead of responding immediately, wait until the expectant pause ends before answering. You might also want to encourage this behavior by saying “yes” or “no” after the expectant pause.
Be Patient With Your Toddler And With Yourself!
It takes time to teach toddlers to speak properly. There will be days when you feel frustrated and discouraged, but remember that patience is a virtue. Give yourself some grace and stick with it.
Eventually, your toddler will start speaking like a pro!
As well as being patient with yourself and your teaching methods, make sure to be patient with your child too.
Remember that every toddler learns at a completely different pace, and there is no right or wrong speed for a little one to be learning.
So, just keep on doing what works best for both of you, and don’t force anything! You are sure to see results as long as you are consistent and patient!
There you have 21 tips that can help you get through the process of teaching your toddler to speak. Hopefully, these ideas will give you some insight into the process and help you along the way.
Let’s finish off with some useful bullet points to remember as you begin teaching your toddler to speak!
Important Things To Remember When Teaching Your Toddler To Talk
- Use repetition to help your toddler learn new vocabulary.
- Ask questions whenever possible.
- Don’t use big words unless they are necessary.
- Make sure your toddler understands the concept before moving on to the next step.
- Show interest in your toddler’s interests.
- Be patient with yourself and with your toddler.
- Always follow up with praise and reward
- Do not force anything. Let them learn at their own pace.
- Do not rush.
- Take breaks from teaching.
- Avoid using negative reinforcement (i.e., taking away toys).
- Keep practicing.
- Have fun!
- Enjoy each moment together!
As we all know, children develop differently from person to person. What works for one may not work for another. Some of these methods might be beneficial to you and your toddler, whilst others might not.
Hopefully, you have found something here that works for you and your family that will be getting your toddler talking.
Be warned though: in the wise words of Homer Simpson, “the sooner kids talk, the sooner they talk back!”
Thanks for reading!