One small step for you tyke means giant leaps are to come. Language is all around us, but for kids who are brand new to complex patterns, you may be wondering how you can help your little one take their language skills to the next level. For parents, creating environments and opportunities is best when it comes to learning a language. You’ll quickly realize that your kiddo can pick up words, phrases, and sentences at an out-of-this-world pace.
The Stars Align for Interaction
First and foremost, interaction with your little one is fundamental for language development. Keep in mind that the television, radio, or other devices cannot replace good old face-to-face encounters. In fact, your baby cannot learn a language without real-life interactions. If you want to help your child sharpen their skills, it may be best to avoid devices as much as possible, particularly in the earlier years of development. Get ready Mom and Dad. You’re going to be needed on this very important mission!
Little Astronaut’s Work Hard for Language Skills
Astronauts spend tons of time practicing in order to journey into space. Practice, which is a part of learning, applies to language development too. Whether your kiddo is learning to communicate in their first year or beyond, repetitive practice is crucial. Luckily, we use language every day, so your kiddo is already exposed to it by just being around you. Even so, there are a few ways you can open the doors and give your child more ways to explore language.
- Invite Them to Interact: Find ways to get your kiddo to interact with you. Encourage communication by presenting basic obstacles like putting a toy out of reach. Of course, your child will ask for your assistance in some way. If your child is old enough, you can also invite conversation by asking them questions, pointing to objects, and sharing your own experiences. Your little wants to communicate and speak with you, so make sure opportunities surround them.
- Labeling Objects and Actions: Whenever your child shows interest in something, give it a name. Depending on your kiddo’s skills, you may decide to take your statement to the next level. For example, instead of saying “Apple Juice?” you may use a full sentence in “Do you want the apple juice?” Putting words to objects and actions gives your child an opportunity to make sense of language patterns.
- Be Overheard: This was a handy tip from a healthiest_baby on Instagram. The idea is that little whispers to stuffed animals or to your partner can peek the interest of your little one. They’ll certainly wonder about what you’re saying. This is also a good way to encourage positive behavior. “Did you see what Steven did today? He put his laundry in the basket all by himself.” Remember that your kids are pros at overhearing things, even if you’re in another room of the house. Be mindful of your words and try to keep things positive.
- Correcting the Incorrect: You may hear your little one say, “wellow” instead of “yellow” or “tat” instead of “cat.” One of the best things you can do is repeat the word to your child and elaborate on it in a sentence. Speak slowly so they can hear the sounds. “Yes, that is a beautiful cat.” Allowing them to hear the word from you, the speaking expert, is a positive way to encourage corrections.
- Take Turns: Whenever you get the chance, talk to your child! Practice taking turns and help them get used to how conversations tend to flow.
Activities for Blast Off!
You’re well on your way to helping your kiddo practice their language skills. On top of that practice, get ready to blast off into some fun too. Read them stories, sing songs, tell jokes, or try any of these other ideas to give them even more exposure to words, phrases, and more. Providing as many opportunities as possible to speak and interact will fine-tune those language skills in a powerful way. Overall, the formula to help them reach new heights include your presence, practice, and holding their interest. You’re the ship’s Captain, so let’s keep the communication coming.