For every parent it is a real great feeling to listen their baby talking or saying “mama” or “dada”. It feels so amazing when we listen to our child talk to us for the first time. Isn’t it? From the time of a child’s birth the baby makes a lot of sounds, like cooing, crying, and gurgling. In one year the baby starts saying one word like “mama”, or something else. This could be really very exciting to listen. But as the baby gets older, you need to know that your baby’s language skills would develop not just by its own, but also by your efforts. Yes! You need to teach your toddler to talk through various ways so that your child starts talking more fluently, and at a quicker time. If you are one of those parents who is willing to know how to teach your toddler to talk, then you are at the right place. Keep reading to discover about some of the ways you can teach your toddle to talk.
12 Ways To Teach Your Toddler To Talk
Some toddlers might pick up language skills quite easily and at an earlier time; but some of them might take a bit longer than others. But, this is not at all a thing to worry about. You can try some of the ways to improve their language skills or to help them talk. Let’s check them out.
Add Some Play and Be Animated:
“Be a child once more!” Yes, be a child once again, add some play and be animated. And by doing this, you will be able to help your toddle to talk quite easily. Now, what can you do to add some play or be animated while teaching your toddler to talk? Let’s see them here.
Make use of melody and your facial expression while you are talking with your child. You can sing, use your hands, smile and use other facial expression; all these would make things really interesting for your baby and your baby would attend you for a longer time period. This would help your toddler learn to talk more easily.
Make use of flashcards while teaching your toddler words. Say, for example you can use the action words’ flashcards like singing, drinking, eating, standing, sleeping, and so on while teaching the baby those action words.
Start giving special commands to your toddle, for instance, tell your child “raise your hands”, or “turn around”. While doing this, you need to tell and also act on the commands so that it would help your child know the words or the command in a better way.
Use Sign Language:
It’s one of the best ways to teach your toddler to talk. You can use sign language to teach your baby to talk. Well, you do not really need to be fluent in sign language, to teach your toddler to talk or know about some of the basic words using basic signs.
You can teach small words like “please”, “come”, “Go”, “sleep”, “eat”, “Drink”, “more”, “all done”, and so on, using sign languages. While using sign languages with your toddler make sure that you are also saying the words that you use in your sign. This way your child starts learning many words; especially when the child repeatedly listens to them.
Make Use Of Language Wherever Possible:
It is true that some babies might take too long to talk. But, just because your toddler cannot talk it does not mean that you keep silence. Be known, the more you talk and express yourself to your child, the easier it would be for your child to learn language and talk at an early age.
So, use language whenever possible. Just for an example, if you are combing your baby’s hair, tell the child that what exactly you are doing and how your child will look once you have combed your hair, and so on. Narrate the things in short sentences and simpler words.
So, you see you have all day to encourage your toddler to talk. You can also tell your toddler some bed-time story, sing lullaby so that the child learns new words from you slowly and gradually in a fair manner.
It is also important for you to note that reading to your child every day could really help your child learn to talk more easily.
A study from 2016 has found that children are exposed to a broader vocabulary by having some sort of picture books read to them than through hearing adults’ speech.(1)
In fact, as per another study conducted in the year 2019, it was found that reading just a single book each day can translate to children being exposed to around 1.4 million more words than those children who are actually not read to by Kindergarten.(2)
Teach Your Toddler In 2-Word Pieces:
It is always good to teach your toddler in 2-word pieces. Anything more than that, could make it difficult for your child to understand or hold it in the child’s brain. So, for example if you have to say” come here to me’’, you can say, “come here”; and that too with your sign languages.
Name The Items:
You can also try to let you toddler know about the names of various items. Say for example, you baby might point to the milk bottle and ask for it. You can tell the child that it’s called milk. Simply show the milk bottle and say “Milk!” This way the baby starts knowing about various things and starts repeating the words too.
Follow The Technique Of Echo Expansion Modeling:
Echo expansion modeling is a technique that is recommended by many pediatric speech therapists so as to encourage your toddlers develop more of their expressive speech. When we talk about this technique in simple terms, all you need to do is, be your child’s Echo. This means just repeat the words that your toddler tells and add 1-2 more words to it.
Say for example if you child sees a cat and tells you the word “Cat”; you simply need to respond to it saying, “Yes; a black cat.”
Reframe From Baby Talk:
It’s adorable to listen to your baby using words quite incorrectly or using the baby talk. And it also happens that we as adults also try the same baby talk with them. But, it is good to let your toddler use baby talk, you simply respond to the child with the proper usage.
Say for example, your toddler might say, “Labbit loves calot”; here, you can simple say, “Yes, Rabbit loves carrot”
Give Choices To Your Child:
You need to encourage your toddler to communicate, and for this you need to give them choices. Now, let’s say you have two fruits with you and you want your child to choose any one of them. So, you can ask your child, “Do you want mango or an apple?” This way your child gets a chance to choose and point or speak the name of a fruit. If your baby points the fruit you can simply encourage them to speak the fruit’s name.
Take Help Of Other Children To Teach Your Toddle To Talk:
It is also important to note that children get to learn more and more when they are in a group. Similarly, toddlers start talking quickly and easily when they have more children with them to play, engage or talk with. So, you can take help of other children those who are already talking or children who are a bit older to your child so that your toddler starts talking quite easily.
Listen To Them:
One of the most important things that you need to know while you are teaching your toddler to talk is to listen to them, to pay them attention and validate them. This means you need to pay attention when your toddler talks, or sings, or says any particular word and encourage them so that the child feels it interesting and starts talking more and more.
Limit Their Screen Time:
One more very important thing that must be kept in mind while teaching your toddler to talk, is to limit their screen time.
As per a study conducted in the year 2018, it was found that an increased screen time on mobile devices was linked with delay in languages in case of 18 months old babies.(3)
The AAP or American Academy Of Pediatrics encourages no more than 60 minutes of screen time per day for kids in the age group of 2-5 years old and less time for even younger children.(4)
So, above we talked about some of the ways to teach your toddler to talk. However, if you are really concerned about your toddler’s talking or delay in talking then it is always advisable for you to consult with your child’s pediatrician or a speech therapist. Apart from this, you can also talk with your child’s educator about the progress that your toddler makes in the speech.