It’s fun to teach a child how to talk!
Parents of babies wait with baited breath for certain “milestones” – such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling and walking. Most parents take every milestone as it comes but there seems to be a bit of panic when their little one is “late” to start talking! It is important to remember that each child is different and that they will learn to talk at different rates. The more YOU talk to your baby, right from birth, the more he/she will learn the nuances of talk! So here are 5 fun ways to do just that!
1: Get down to toddler level. Sit on the floor and play games with your toddler. Pick up one of his/her toys and play a game with it in which your toddler can join. Then let your toddler choose a toy and join in whatever game he/she is playing, all the while describing what you are doing and what you think he/she is doing!
2: Set aside a quiet time every day to read books with your child. They listen to the words you are saying and the tones you use and they follow along with the pictures. This gives them a clearer understanding of the meaning of the words coming out of your mouth! You don’t even have to read the actual story, but you can point out various items in the pictures and tell your child about them.
3: Nursery rhymes are another fun way to play with words as you match your actions to the words of the nursery rhyme! Lots of giggles can be heard with this game of rhymes, especially is you become an actor and do all goofy moves!!!
4: Listen! It is important also to show your baby that you are listening, as he/she babbles away – this is your child trying to talk and tell you something!!! Talk back to him/her and encourage him/her to continue with this fascinating conversation. This teaches your baby that you are interested in what they are telling you and that whatever he/she is saying is important to you and is worth your time.
5: Lastly, NO baby talk please!!!! Just speak normally to your baby/toddler…don’t add a “y” to words unnecessarily (drinky, walky, doggie, etc) or say that a baby is a “ba-ba” if you can possibly help it!!! If you indulge yourself in baby talk because you think it’s cute, your child will only have to learn the proper word at a later stage!
Be warned though – once your toddler starts talking, new words are added every waking moment and when a million and one “why’s” are being asked, your ears are going to demand that you shut yourself away in a padded room for a peaceful minute or two!!