Stimulate your child’s speech development by incorporating a few simple strategies into your daily routine! No new toys or materials needed. Between the ages of 2 and 3 years-old, most children have a vocabulary of at least 200 words, communicate basic wants and needs by speaking, and start to combine words to make simple phrases. Here are some tips and tricks to help your child get there.
Here’s an easy way to increase your child’s vocabulary. Ask less yes/no questions, and give more choices. For example, instead of asking, “do you want juice?”, give your child the option, “do you want juice or milk?”. Even if you know what he or she prefers, presenting your child with the option encourages him or her to say more words. Hold or point to the objects as you say them. This way, even if your child simply reaches or points to the preferred item, he or she is watching and listening to you name them and therefore is learning new words.
Parent’s intuition is real. Often times, you may be ready with a drink, snack, or to put your child down for a nap before he or she even communicates a need for any of these! Parents often anticipate their child’s wants and needs without even realizing it. Not only that, but doing things like keeping all of your child’s toys out where he or she can easily access them makes things just a little easier at home. To encourage your child to use words more often, take a step back and do a little sabotaging. Try waiting for your child to ask or show you he wants something before going it to him or her. Put toys in a clear bin that your child needs to ask you for help in order to open. Move your child’s snacks from a cabinet he or she can easily access to somewhere higher. Make sure your child has plenty of opportunities and a need for communicating with you!
Talk out loud and narrate what is going on around your child- all. day. long. Think of a sports commentator giving a play-by-play. What may feel a little silly, especially with a baby or very young child, is actually wonderful for your child’s language development. Children are sponges, always listening and observing. Saying things like, “It’s a hot day today” or “You are putting the blocks in” helps improve your child’s understanding of language!
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family