Your toddler is at a stage where she is constantly learning language from you. Jamie Loehr M.D. and Jen Meyers, authors of “Raising Your Child” suggest these activities in order to encourage healthy language development.
Read to your child every day, several times a day. Discuss the illustrations when you’re looking at books together. Ask your child to tell you what they see and ask to point out specific items on the page. Read alphabet books to lay the ground-work for learning the ABCs.
Your Child Is Intelligent
Treat your child like they’re an intelligent person (he is!) Consciously hold conversations with him. Ask for his opinions, likes, and dislikes. Listen attentively when he talks to you and respond in a way that shows you understand what he’s saying. Repeat what he says back with appropriate pronunciation as well as good listening skills.
Add details to what your child says. “Yes, that’s a bus. It’s a blue and white city bus. It’s really big!” This helps your child with their language and learning different words everyday is beneficial for you and baby later with great conversations.
Model Proper Grammar
Use proper grammar when you speak – to – model it for your child. He learns to speak (and write) from you first. You’re not only mom but you’re mom and his very first teacher for the first few years of life so be a great one. He depends on you.
Use Complete Sentences
Help expand your toddler’s abilities by speaking to him in complete sentences. If he asks for more bananas, then say to him, “You want to have more banana.” Model correct word order and clear pronunciation for him. Again, he depends on you.
Encourage Your Toddler’s 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. Show him how the puppets can have a conversation with each other or with you or him.