Three simple ways I can further my toddler’s language development
Babies are biologically hardwired to learn language. When your toddler is babbling, sighing and making cute baby sounds, they are practicing using their mouth, learning how to make sounds and working on communication patterns.
This is all so they can begin to start talking.
How do toddlers learn language?
Children learn to talk from listening and watching adults talk and imitating the sounds they make.
Ever wondered how or where your toddler has picked up ‘that’ word from? Toddlers will learn words by hearing them repeatedly and when they are ready, they will repeat them back to you.
Here are three simple activities for promoting language development in your toddler.
Modelling your toddlers’ newly acquired words
As a parent, you can model the correct way for your toddler to use their words by repeating them back to them in the correct grammatical way.
For example, if your toddler says:
‘I eaten my dinner’,
you can say,
‘Yes, you ate your dinner’.
Ask open ended questions by talking with your toddler
Engage in a conversation with your toddler and ask some open ended questions. Some examples are;
- When we went to the park today, what were your favourite things we did there?
- What the story we read did you like?
- How would you describe the weather today?
Wait to see if you get a response from your toddler.
Your toddler may respond in broken language, in babble or not at all, however they will be learning and listening and it’s a great way to promote language development.
Become your toddlers very first teacher of words
Take time to teach your toddler new words. Take notice of what your toddler is paying attention to.
When your toddler is paying attention to something or playing with a toy, teach them the word.
For example, if they are playing with a truck, you can teach them to say ‘truck’.
When reading books, point to the objects and repeat a word to your toddler.
For example, if you point to a dog, you can say ‘dog’.
The next time your toddler sees a dog in real life, you can point to the dog and say ‘dog’.
As your toddler learns to talk, it may take them some time to find their words.
It is important for you to be patient with your toddler and for you to give them the time they need to practice their newly forming language and not to finish their words for them.
It is important to remember, having a loving, stable and responsive relationship is fundamental to your toddler’s development.
The more experiences your toddler has with you there to support them, the more your child grows and thrives.
When your child feels safe and attached to you, your child is more likely to have the confidence to explore their world. Playing with your toddler strengthens your relationship and encourages your toddler to explore, observe, experiment and solve problems.
If you have any concerns with your child’s development, you can find out more by accessing the Early Childhood Authority’s website at www.eca.gov.ae or contact the Child Health Line on 024194983. Operated by Mubadala Health (available 10:00 am -18:00 pm).
This initiative is a collaboration between the Early Childhood Authority, Mubadala and Mubadala Health