Communicating Effectively With Your Child
Children's speech and language proficiencies develop as they grow. When you demonstrate appropriate speech patterns and provide opportunities to expand language skills in various environments, your child should develop excellent communication skills. Here are some suggestions to help encourage this growth:
Read—Help your child to discover books, poems, nursery rhymes and more. While you read, use a mixture of soft, loud, high-pitched and low-pitched voices.
Create—Help your child play with different textures like shaving cream, paint, sand, sidewalk chalk, Play-Doh® and more. Let them cut, glue, paint, draw and be imaginative on fabric, paper or another fun background.
Celebrate Music—Listen to all types of music and sing with your child. Clap, jump and tap your hands to the beat of the song. Show them how to whistle and make silly sounds with your tongue, lips, etc.
Work—When you are cooking, cleaning, planting, shoveling and doing other household chores, you can explain your tasks, let your child imitate your actions and maybe even solicit some help.
Play—Get down on the floor and play. Follow your child's lead. Ask questions, imitate the child's actions and words. Model appropriate speech and articulate sounds by talking slowly for better understanding. Take a walk and talk about the things you see, describe them and point out the differences between them. Play hide and seek—and have some fun.
Carry-on Cognitively—Count with your child when doing activities, ask yes/no questions, put puzzles together, sort colors and shapes and discover interesting pictures in books.
The greatest thing about practicing speech and language is that it happens everywhere, in all environments. So you don’t need expensive toys, games or books to encourage these skills. Your child just needs you—and your examples—to help them learn!