Supporting Language And Literacy Skills From 1224 Months
The idea of babies and toddlers talking and reading can seem incredible. It isnt necessary to teach very young children, but learn how you can begin to help your child develop their language and literacy skills.
It is hard to imagine them debating with you about curfews or curling up with the newest Harry Potter book. But language and literacy skills start earlyfrom birth. Watching your baby and learning how she communicates through sounds, facial expressions, and gestures are all important ways to help her learn about language and the written word.
It isnt necessary to teach very young children. Formal classes and other activities that push babies and toddlers to read and write words do not help their development or make the do better in school. In fact, they can even make children feel like failures when they are pushed to do something they dont enjoy or that is beyond their skills.
Early language and literacy skills are learned best through everyday moments with your childreading books, talking, laughing, and playing together. Children learn language when you talk to them and they communicate back to you, and by hearing stories read and songs sung aloud. Children develop early literacy skills when you give them the chance to play with and explore books and other written materials like magazines, newspapers, take-out menus, markers, and crayons.
Language and literacy, while two different skills, build on one another in important ways.
Physical And Skills Milestones
Your toddler may be able to stand up without help from you or other support between 12 and 15 months. Once they can stand, they soon start to explore more.
Many toddlers start walking on their own between 12 and 15 months but it is normal for others to start walking at 15 to 18 months. With practice, they may even start climbing stairs or on furniture and start running. Toddlers are very busy, active and curious about the world they live in. Your toddler may start to dance in place to music, kick and throw a ball, scribble and finger feed more efficiently during this time.
Talk About Pictures In The Book
That bunny is getting tired. He is in his bed. He is going night-night. Night, night, Bunny. Talking about the pictures helps children develop a better understanding of what is happening in the story. Sometimes, instead of reading the actual words in the book, you can simply talk about the pictures on each page.
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Speech And Language Milestones For Toddlers
In the previous article, we discussed important speech milestones that occur throughout the first year of life.
Today, we’re moving on to all of the exciting milestones that happen during the second year .
This is the stage where your child progresses from baby to toddler pretty quickly! It’s a period of rapid growth, maturity, and brain development.
However, this big leap in language abilities and vocabulary expansion doesn’t happen overnight. And it certainly doesnt just happen on its own. There are many foundational verbal and nonverbal skills that build upon each other throughout your baby’s second year. Knowing each of these milestones, and ensuring your early language learner is progressing at a level appropriate for their age, is extremely important to raising an effective communicator.
In this post we will cover all the details about the receptive and expressive language skillsthat happen between ages 12 and 24 months. Receptive language skills refers to how well your child comprehends language, whereas expressive language refers to how well they use language to express their needs, wants, and ideas.
Importance Of Language Development For Toddlers
Language development in the early years can impact a persons ability to communicate and comprehend over a lifetime. A childs vocabulary starts to snowball during the toddler years.
As communication skills develop, parents and educators need to make sure they are providing a language-rich environment. This is also the time to closely monitor language development to catch speech and communication delays early.
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Helping With Meals + Chores
In my article How to Stop Losing Patience with Your Toddler, I introduced why parents should include toddlers in daily household tasks. Essentially, I advocated for parents to stop trying to get chores over with. I wanted parents to mimic how teachers in early childhood classrooms will include toddlers in their daily routines.
Toddlers learn language through exposure to it. And unfortunately, household chores and routines take up a large part of parents time at home. Instead of toddlers having screen time, a better option is to find ways to include them or find engaging ways for them to play nearby.
- Putting dishes in the dishwasher
- Setting plates on the table
- Playing with a kitchen prop box
- Reading books in the laundry room
Providing Help For Children Experiencing Speech Delays
Many children with diagnoses such as autism, cerebral palsy, TBI, and Down syndrome often experience delays or deficits in language development. Delays in language development make it more difficult for children to communicate with family members, teachers and therapists resulting in frustration, potential delays in social development, and difficulties in academic settings. If your child has trouble learning new words, has problems stringing words together in sentences or has consistent trouble getting the message across verbally, there are things you can do to help. Recognizing and treating language delays as early as possible will allow your child to communicate effectively and set the stage for greater independence in the future. If you think your child or loved one may benefit from pediatric speech therapy at NAPA Center, contact our team today to schedule your free consultation.
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Toddler Play: Why Its Important For Talking Development
Play is the main way that young children develop, learn and explore the world.
Playing with your child gives you many opportunities to talk. And the more you play and talk together, the more words your child hears. This also gives your child the chance to learn how sounds, words and conversations work. This improves your childs talking skills and helps their brain develop.
When you spend time talking and playing together, it strengthens your relationship with your child. And a strong relationship with you is essential to development, because it gives your child the confidence to keep exploring and learning.
Your Child Is Intelligent
Treat your child like she’s an intelligent person. Consciously hold conversations with her. Ask for her opinions, likes, and dislikes. Listen attentively when she talks to you, and respond in a way that shows you understand what she’s saying. Repeat what she says back to her to model appropriate pronunciation as well as good listening skills.
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Throw Ping Pong Balls Into A Box
This is another activity that we do with these ping pong balls. The goal is to get balls inside a box. We have been using our cardboard house for this purpose but any box would work. This was a success because our toddler loves to throw stuff. Great for hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and its fun for the whole family!
Most Effective Speech Therapy Activities For Toddlers
Every baby may not speak at the same pace every child is different. But there are speech therapy activities for toddlers that you can do to help your child learn to talk.
Use simple soundsUse simple sounds like da and ma or ba and aa or ooh to babies even when they are newborn. These vowels and consonants have a great response from children. These simple speech therapy activities help your child to talk. As they grow, they listen and try to imitate you.
Speak slowly so baby can understandTry to use simple words and friendly tones. Your toddler can understand what you are saying if you talk to her face to face. Make eye contact and speak slowly and patiently. If the child repeats the words incorrectly just gently repeat the words in the correct manner, so she understands the difference.
TV does NOT help to get children to talkDont turn on the TV as soon as you get home or have it on constantly when your toddler is in the room. Contrary to what you may think the TV is not considered part of speech therapy activities. Contact with people is crucial in the language development process.
Play with your childPlaying is a good way to communicate with your child and also build motor skills and many other benefits. Allow your toddler to tell you what to do. Stay in the background and do only what you are asked to do. Playing with your child builds confidence without pressurizing your child to talk. Playing is a fun part of your speech therapy activities!
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Dont Make A Big Deal About Speech Mistakes
There is no need to correct your child. Simply repeat the correct pronunciation. If you child says, Gamma, you might respond by saying, I see that Grandma gave you a cookie, yum yum! to give your child a chance to hear how the word sounds. Correcting your child can make him less likely to try saying new words.
Baby Speech Development By 18 Months
Toddlers develop skills at different rates, and to begin with their speech might only be recognisable to adults who often spend time with them. But by 18 months, their language will be rapidly improving and there are a few things you would expect them to be able to do:
- Enjoy playing games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.
- Have fun playing with toys that make a noise.
- Start to understand a few simple words, like drink, shoe and car.
- They might recognise simple instructions like ‘kiss mummy’, ‘kick ball’ and ‘give me.
- Point to things when asked, like familiar people and objects such as book and ball.
- Use up to 20 simple words, such as ‘cup’, ‘daddy’ and ‘dog’.
- Gesture or point, often with words or sounds to show what they want.
- Copy lots of things that adults say and gestures that they make.
- Start to enjoy simple pretend play, for example pretending to talk on the phone.
Speech and language skills usually develop from a very early age. Some children dont develop the early skills they need and you should speak to a GP or paediatrician if you are concerned.
Parents should speak to a GP, health visitor or speech and language therapist if:
- Their child has not started to babble to communicate by 12 to 15 months.
- They are not saying their first words by 18 months.
- They do not respond well to language, such as not following simple instructions like kick ball.
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How Does Your Garden Grow
Plant some seeds that grow in summer, such as grass or flower seeds, in a patch of dirt outside or in a pot to keep inside. This is a fun project for toddlers who love to shovel, pour water, and get messy! At the same time theyre building fine motor skills and learning important science concepts as they watch their plants grow.
Make A Homemade Wagon
Attach a 1218 inch length of string or ribbon to a shoebox using sturdy tape. Show your grandchild how she can pull the string to make the box move. If she is walking, give her a job to do using her wagon, such as pulling some clean dishtowels into the kitchen or delivering mail to grandpa in another room. This kind of activity builds physical and problem-solving skills as your grandchild learns how to use an object as a tool Be sure to supervise closely and put this toy away when you are done playing.
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Play A Game With Food
My daughter is an extremely picky eater, so I try to include games with food in our routine as well surprisingly they help her eat a lot more food than she normally does. We use this Take a bite game which is based on actions that kids need to repeat. Some actions are funny, like make a silly face or tickles, some actions are cute, like hugs, and some actions say take a bite so my daughter eats bites of food in between other actions. This game has so much cuteness with plenty of hugs, tickles, and kisses with your child.
Stress On The Details
Whenever you are having a conversation with your child, encourage him to speak to you in vivid detail. Point out an object on the street and ask him what it is. When he says car, add more details to it . This will build your childs vocabulary and develop his observation skills.
Your child will mimic you and learn from you, so it is important that you practice good grammar and speak as clearly as possible to help him pick up on words. Introduce new words to him on a regular basis and explain what they mean. Language development can help your toddler prepare for a successful future as he will be able to communicate better and express himself in a clear manner.
Language development is an essential part of your babys growth. Some children pick it instantly while some children take some time. With a little bit of patience, you can deal with any development issues. However, if you notice delayed speech and poor language skills after the age of three despite having performed these activities, consult your doctor to check for underlying causes like hearing impairment.
Resources and References: Parents
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Set An Obstacle Course
If your toddler is over two years of age, you can create a simple obstacle course around the house. Give your child one instruction at a time so that he doesnt get confused. Give him some time to complete the activity. You can also write out instructions on paper and place them around the house.
For example, if you want him to sit in a box, place a chit on the box that says, sit inside the box. You can then instruct him further and wait for him to follow through. Once he is in tune with the activity, you can try giving him more than just one instruction at a time and challenge him to complete it within a period of time. Activities such as this one are best done when the child can understand simple instructions and can read. Such activities help build the expression power of the child.
Language Activity For Toddlers: 50 Ideas To Promote Communication
When raising and teaching toddlers, we have a lot of power over their language development. It is never too early to start thinking about supporting language skills. If you need a language activity for toddlers, check out these play-based, nurturing ideas.
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How Can I Make Reading With My Child More Action
As children enter the toddler years, they delight in what their body can dowalking, running, jumping, bouncing, rolling, sliding. So sitting still to hear a story may not be at the top of your sons favorite activity list.
But if you cant beat em, join em: Instead of always expecting your child to sit down to read a story, build reading into his other activities. Whats most important for developing early reading skills is a love of books. It doesnt matter whether your child holds the book upside down, picks the same two books over and over again, or is doing somersaults as you read to him. Try the following:
Ice Pops Sensory Play
This is a great activity for educating young senses. It can introduce toddlers to the concept of cold/frozen, and they can learn about colors, length, and shape. This can be a great vocabulary lesson if you talk about these qualities of ice pops. As children learn to connect words with objects, the world takes on a new meaning for them.
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Play The Telephone Game
A toy telephone can be an active part of your little ones playtime. Get a pair of toy telephones and pretend that you are dialling his number to call him. Encourage him to pick up the phone and answer. Teach him how to say hello when he answers the phone. Doing this activity regularly can help your child develop good phone etiquette and improve his speaking skills.
Encourage Your Toddlers Imagination
Provide your toddler with puppets, dolls, stuffed animals, and make-believe play materials such as scarves, hats, old clothes, shoes, recyclables for making costumes and props, blankets for building forts, etc. Make hand puppets out of paper bags decorated with markers, paper, and glue, or out of socks decorated with buttons, yarn, and thread. Shoe her how the puppets can have a conversation with each other or with you or her. Put on a puppet show.
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How Can I Help My Toddler Play And Learn
Once toddlers learn to walk, there’s no turning back. Yours will want to keep moving and build on this newfound skill. Provide lots of chances to be active and practice running, jumping, and climbing in safe surroundings.
Toddlers love to copy you doing chores. Provide age-appropriate toys that will encourage this, such as a toy vacuum to use while you’re cleaning or pots, pans, and spoons to play with while you’re cooking. Other toys that toddlers enjoy include:
- brightly colored balls
- blocks, stacking, and nesting toys
- fat crayons or markers
- age-appropriate animal or people figures and dolls
- toy cars and trains
- push, pull, and riding toys
Reading continues to be important. Your toddler can follow along with a story and point to objects in the pictures as you name them. Encourage toddlers to name things they recognize.
Chat about the books you read together and the things you did that day. Ask questions and encourage your toddler to reply by waiting for a response, then expand on those replies.