April 4, 2017
Melissa Peters, M.S., CCC-SLP
5 Ways To Enhance Your Child’s Language Development
1. Play with them
Current research suggests that language development is directly correlated in parent interaction. When parents play with children, they are interacting and modeling language for their child. Children are smart! They will start to learn the meaning of new words through play
2. Keep your language at their level
A simple rule that many speech pathologists use is: keep your language simple. For example, if your child is using one word “car”, keep your phrases at the 1-2 “yes, a red car!” word level when playing with them. If your child is already combining two words, then model 3-4 words throughout play.
3. Follow your child’s lead
If your child is interested in a certain book, then start talking about it! Always follow your child’s interests. Following your child’s lead in terms of what toys to play with is important so that they are motivated to listen to what you are saying!
4. Talk about everything
Although it may sound simple, parents who narrate every day are helping their child build their receptive and expressive language. Talking about everything AS you are doing it is important. For example, during bath time, you can narrate each step. “The tub is filling up with water. Time to wash your body! Now let’s rinse off your hair.”
Singing helps your child learn new words. The patterns and rhythms in songs help children identify and use new words on their own. A fun thing to do is to “pause” and have your child fill in the correct word to a song- this will help them become confident in using new words!