build speech and language skills at home

5 ways to help build speech and language skills at home

 Try these 5 simple ways to help strengthen your child’s speech and language skills as they grow from baby to toddler.

By: Serena V. Osher MSP CCC-SLP

Research shows that parents play a tremendous role in their child’s speech and language development from day one.  Speech and language skills provide the framework for conveying and receiving information to and from others. These skills begin to develop the moment babies enter the world.  Luckily, it is very easy to provide support to your little ones using your natural ability to communicate. Here are 5 easy ways to help build speech and language skills at home. 

1. Narrate your day.

Talk to your baby and toddler throughout the day about what you are doing.    

Example:  

Try to use the same phrases over and over again as repetition is key.

2. Label specific items that you use during your day and hold those items to your face when labeling.

Example: During dressing

When they get a little older ask them to grab their socks or their diaper to check if they understand the words.

 

3. Encourage turn-taking and imitation skills. Children learn a lot by watching their parent’s actions, words and facial expressions. Play simple games with them.

Example

4. Sing songs and make silly noises. Nothing gets your child’s attention like music and fun noises. All you need is a few simple songs under your belt.  Engage them by using good facial expressions and body motions to go along with your songs.

Example

5. As your baby grows into a toddler they have more options to choose from in life so be sure to always offer a choice of 2 items. Being able to choice make demonstrates communicative intent and allows children to see that their communication can get them what they really want. Just label each item while holding it or pointing to it, thus providing a verbal model for the vocabulary.

Example:

You should accept looking at, pointing to, grabbing for, and vocalizations as forms of communication and then help them out by modeling the words.

 Example:

One other tip

Stay on top of ear infections. If your child has frequent ear infections you need to discuss treatment options with your pediatrician. Ear infections often cause temporary hearing loss and are a common cause for language delays.

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