Ages 0-3 are critical for learning and mastering speech and language. Some babies and toddlers initiate talking earlier than others. If you are looking to encourage speech and language in your little one, read on for easy guidelines to help promote speech and language for young children.
3 Tips for promoting Speech and Language Development in children 0-3 years of age:
1. Use Simple Language:
- Short sentences are easier to understand and allow your child to pick up the important pieces of the message.
- Talk about what you are doing as you go about your day. It is easier for a child to pick up new language if he can see or hear the object or action as he is exposed to the vocabulary.
- Be animated when speaking; use fun voices and vary your pitch and loudness. This is more likely to catch, and hold, your child’s attention to your language.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. Say it again. Say it differently. The more exposure to the word, the more likely it will stick. For example, say, “He is walking. Look at him walk. I like how you make him walk. He is walking so fast! Good walking!”
2. Encourage Turn Taking:
- In the early years, repeating your child’s babbling and early words helps teach language turn taking. Your child will start to understand that speaking to you will gain your attention and will help attain desired objects or actions.
- Use open ended questions, rather than yes or no, to encourage more language opportunities.
- Wait for a response when communicating with your child. You may have to allow him extra time to respond. Try not to speak for him when communicating with others to encourage independence.
3. Create Speech-Friendly Environments:
- Wait for your child to request items or events rather than beating him to the punch. You may have Supermom sensors for when your child is about to get thirsty, however, allowing your child to realize his need and act on it is highly motivating for promoting speech and language development.
- Structure play activities that require your child to ask for help in order to continue his game. For more ideas, click here to read strategies for providing communicative temptations.
- Play groups and classes are GREAT ways to expose kids to language. Playing with others often requires kids to construct new language in order to participate.
To better understand if your child is meeting his speech and language milestones, click here to download our Speech and Language Milestone Infographic.