TODDLER TALK: SIMPLE WAYS TO ENCOURAGE TALKING IN YOUR TINY TOT.
“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”
Navigating your child’s speech development can be scary and uncertain. There are so many benchmarks, standards and comparisons. Bear in mind, that encouraging toddler speech isn’t simply based on the fact that you need to talk at them 24/7 but rather the quality of the words spoken and how it happens. Both come more naturally when we start treating our kids as capable little humans who are ready to communicate, learn and grow. Basically, if we interact naturally, our kids are likely to respond more naturally in turn.
DESCRIBE EVERYTHING: Explain where you are, what you’re doing, and what you can see. The key to this is talking about things that toddlers are interested in, get inside the toddler mind.
ASK QUESTIONS: Even if they don’t understand the question, keep asking! Make sure you put lots of intonation into the questions so they begin to understand that a response is required and that conversation goes both ways.
TELL STORIES: Get their imagination going by telling a story about items and objects relative to them.
BE POSITIVE: Make sure they know that by talking, they’re communicating their needs, feelings and desires. If your only communication is through strict orders, talking won’t appear to be much fun!
AVOID BABY TALK: Use simple but real language. They pick up on much more than we think at a very young age, so keep talking to them in full, clear sentences.
GESTURE MORE: Gestures are a big deal, especially if your little one is hesitant to get chatting or is a little shy. Create your own simple gestures for the basics like, please, help, more and thank you. It will make them feel like the pressure is off them a little and encourage them to open up. Any tool that encourages communication from any age is a good thing!
STOP AND LISTEN: Give them a chance to respond and reply. Don’t answer for them out of habit. Giving them the word isn’t always the best thing.
REPEAT: Find a toy that they love and play with them using emotive words like “pop” and “ready, set go!”. Doing this over and over is fun for them and also re-inforces those basic words.