Talking and listening to children from the moment they’re born helps them develop good listening and language skills. It also helps them to learn and develop good relationships with people.
Try reading stories together. This is a fun way to help your child learn new words. Don’t be afraid to read the same books over and over…your child will actually enjoy the repetition!
As your child’s speech is developing they are learning new words and language through looking, listening and playing. Here are some handy tips in areas that help your child to develop strong language skills:
Attention & Listening
Your Child: “I listen to your conversations and can listen to short stories now but I still get distracted”
Tip: Help your child to listen by calling their name before you give them an instruction and turning off the TV when you talk or read to them.
Play & Chat
Your Child: “I talk during my play all the time, pretending to have conversations just like you do”
Tip: Let your child play camping with their duvet or play boat with cushions just so they can practice their pretending.
Your Child: “I understand words like “in”, “big”, “small” but I mix up “on” and “under”
Tip: Your child needs to hear new words everyday otherwise they will never say them. Try playing hiding games with your child which is a fun way to help them learn new words.
Your Child: “I use over 100 words and put words into short sentences such as “look mummy dog”
Tip: Even though your child can speak in sentences, it is still important to give them lots of time to talk because they are still learning to speak like adults.
Your Child: “I am learning how to say more sounds like “s”, “f” and “I” but I still make lots of mistakes”
Tip: When your child makes a mistake, just say it the right way for them. This lets them hear the right sound so they can try and fix it the next time.
This article is provided by Little Voices. Little Voices is the oral language strand of the ABC Start Right Limerick project. The aim of Little Voices is to improve outcomes in oral language development and pre-literacy skills in children aged 0 – 4 years. Little Voices is led by Speech and Language Therapists who work closely with parents, families and staff in the North side and city centre communities of Limerick. Little Voices focuses on developing a collaborative and universal approach that engages children through the implementation of various training, mentoring supports and parent programmes.