There are few things that are as exciting as hearing your child’s first words. The process of learning to speak is a fun and rewarding experience that you share with your toddler. There are several methods to encourage speech development and language development, but I have found the activities below to be especially helpful.

Don’t rush.
Tell your child to take their time when speaking.

By repeating what your child says, it shows that you understand and gives you the opportunity to expand on their sentence.
Example: “Taxi? Yes, that is a taxi. That is a yellow taxi.”

Ask questions with choices.
Use simple questions to slip in language practice with everyday tasks.
Example: Do you want your book or your school bus?”

Interactive reading.
While reading to your little one, ask questions throughout the story to get them talking.
Example: ” Who is holding the ball?”

Create a special photo album.
Make a photo album with pictures of your child doing various things at home and outside. Look at the album together, talk about the photos and ask simple questions. Keep the album in your bag along with the snacks and toys to practice on-the-go.

Talk with your child.
It’s important to have conversations with your child, regardless of how “simple” they may seem. This is the easiest way to increase their vocabulary.

Model Good Conversation Skills. 
When with other adults, be a good listener and use adult vocabulary.

By: Jeannie Chan, Teacher at Early Learning Foundations Preschool
For more than 16 years, Jeannie has brought energy and an enthusiastic spirit to her teaching style. Having worked with over 3,000 children of different strengths, learning styles, backgrounds, personalities and interests, Jeannie helps nurture young children to feel safe and confident in exploring the world and new learning experiences. Jeannie is fluent in Mandarin and is currently working on a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Hunter College CUNY.  She loves spending time with her husband and son, playing jacks (she is REALLY good) and watching fairy tales with a big box of tissues.