How to teach kids to speak? Can we do anything to accelerate the process? Trying to hear the first “mom” word from my daughter I also wondered when do babies start talking. Turned out, a lot depends on parents and how they encourage and promote speaking. Want your little pea to start talking distinct words instead of something incomprehensible? Then arm yourself with patience to follow these ten tips.
1. Repeat actions make perfection
Name everything in your house, all that your child sees on the street, and what’s going to happen (“Dad is going home”, “Grandma will visit us”). Don’t doubt – you’ll see positive results soon.
2. Repeat for your kid
This endless “na-na-na-na” splutter is too boring for you? What about saying it in chorus? Your little one will find it funny! Now change your song to “da-da-da”. Is your kid repeating? Keep on singing changing both vowels and consonants. It’s not just a good exercise for the organs of speech, but also a gripping developing game for your kid.
3. Improve fine movements
Baby talk is closely connected with fine movements. The tips of fingers and ability to control movements have direct impact on brain sections responsible for speech development. Not that you need to teach your kid to tie shoelaces – start from minor steps. Give your child small things: round, rugged, ribbed, sticky, rustling, even ones, etc. The more is the better. I won’t discover America, if I say that children prefer playing with spoons, boxes, pieces and clothes and can covers instead of all these expensive tummy-time mats and toys. Colorful stringed buttons are also pretty popular. The instruments for training are always available at your fingertips!
4. Prefer words to signs
Try to avoid the sign language after passing the threshold of 1 year. Stop reacting to baby’s hands and fingers reaching the desired toys. Instead, say “give it to me” when giving some objects. Complicate the task gradually and teach your kid say “Mom, give me the apple”. Don’t forget about “Thanks” and “Please” – the words that do wonders 😉
5. Imitate sounds
Hot kid’s interest up by imitating animals’ sounds: “moo”, “woof”, “quack-quack”. You will also learn many different animals when looking at the pictures in your books.
Allow your child to communicate with talking peers and older kids. The willing to imitate their speech will overcome all failures.
7. Sing songs!
Don’t hesitate, even if you have a tin ear. Try a smart trick: “mess up” some words in familiar songs. For instance: “The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the … roof (wall, waterfall, etc,)”. A rare kid would resist correcting you!
8. Read and learn poems
Catchy and tuny verses are exactly what you need for education and entertainment. You can read to your child ten times and more, and every time they will sound like the first time. Pretend forgetting some phrases or words, and you will hear the correct answers from your child’s lips.
9. Listen to your little one
Don’t ignore kid’s attempts to tell you something. Listen attentively looking right into your daughter’s or son’s eyes. You can act being surprised and wonder “Wow! Really? Show me, please!” It will encourage the child to discuss the things around with you. Ask your little one to tell the family what happened during your walks: “The snow was white”, “We were playing with the ball”, “I fed the birds”, etc. Make other family member listen, nod, and ask questions.
10. Usual toys are always better
Try not to surround your kid with electronic toys: they make kids passive watchers instead of active participants. How to teach kids to speak, if they don’t need to make efforts to express what they want? Electronic toys are real fantasy killers, because all actions are triggered by simply pushing buttons. Therefore, a child gets used to the fact that neither the process, nor the results of the game do not depend on his or her efforts. Leave those gimmicks for the future and better stick to traditional cars, balls, cubes, and pyramids.
We all wonder when kids start talking forgetting that their possibilities and achievements depend on us to a high degree. With proper encouragement and involvement, you can turbo-charge this ability and hear the first words that are sweet music to parents’ ears.