Helping Your Toddlers Learn to Talk

  1. Use simple repetitive language Describe your everyday activities but keep your sentences short and speak slowly and clearly. Repeating things helps children to join in and pick up new words. Nursery rhymes are great for encouraging children to join in.
  2. Build on or expand on what your child says Add one or two words to your child’s sentences. For example, if your child says “look light”, you could say “look the light is on”. You will be letting your child know that you heard what they said and modelling the next stage of language development.
  3. Model the correct way of saying a sound or word If a child makes an error, simply say the correct version of that word. For example, if your child says, “I goed to school”, you might say “yes you went to school today”.
  4. Don’t ask too many questions This can stop the flow of conversation. The best questions are those that give your child choices or challenge them to think about something (e.g. do you prefer colouring or painting?, I wonder where the brown bear will go now?)
  5. Give your child time to respond: Children often need time to put their thoughts together before answering so give them longer to respond than you would give an adult.