How to Talk with your Toddler

The more you talk to your toddler now, the more words they will know and say when they’re older.

The first three years of life is a critical time for developing language skills. Researchers from Stanford University have found that:

  • Children who heard more speech directed to them learned to pay better attention to words and respond quickly when hearing speech.
  • Children who heard more speech directed to them at 19 months knew more words at 2 years of age. This was because of an improved ability to process and understand speech. Talking to children promotes their word learning by improving their ability to pay attention to and learn new words quickly. 

Top 3 Tips for Talking with your Toddler: 

  1. See it, Say it: Name the things you see and talk about what’s happening around you. This helps children to understand, remember and eventually say words.
  2. Get face to face and down to your child’s level when you are playing and chatting together. This helps children to see your face clearly and understand your message.
  3. Cut down on questions! This is often the trickiest tip for adults but, by reducing the amount of questions you ask you can instead give children the words for things they are interested in e.g. instead of saying “Where’s Granda gone?”Say “Look, Granda’s in his car, he’s going to town now. See you later Granda.”