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.
It’s never too early to start talking to your child. Most brain development happens before the age of two and the best way to stimulate your child’s brain is to talk to them more. Chat to your child during bath time or feeding time. Say a nursery rhyme while changing their nappy.
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 am beginning to concentrate on activities for a longer time but I need you to help me
Tip: Try turning off the TV and spending 10 minutes every day playing a game to help build your child’s concentration.
Play & Chat
Your Child: I watch what you do every day and now I “pretend” with my toys like “feeding the teddy” or “driving the car”
Tip: Play pretend games together like having a picnic or going shopping. This allows your child to practice words and make sense of the world around them.
Your Child: I understand up to 500 words! The more we talk, the more words I hear and learn
Tip: Your child learns new words every day. Eventually you will never have to tell your child to repeat words. They will do it themselves.
Your Child: I use up to 50 words and I am starting to put two words together such as “Daddy’s sock”.
Tip: Add words to what your child says so they can hear and learn how to make longer sentences.
Your Child: I use some more sounds like “t”, “d” and “n” but my words are still not very clear
Tip: Make sounds with your child that go with things they might hear such as animals noises or driving noises e.g. “meow”, “vroom vroom” and “beep”!
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.