The toddler stage is a key time for children to expand their vocabulary, string words together, and start to verbally ask for objects. As they grow in their ability to communicate, this enhances their ability to learn—and there are fun activities that can help them advance in the crucial toddler language development stage.
Check out these five simple yet effective strategies.
Parenting.FirstCry.com notes that you can introduce new words to your toddler while singing songs—and even help them to start to understand nouns and verbs. One study, using brain imaging, is described in Lighting up the Brain with Songs and Stories; benefits of singing with your toddler can go beyond an enhanced vocabulary—including increased memory, improved academic success, and advancing literacy skills.
The parenting site also promotes naming objects in your home or wherever else you are, asking your toddler to then name them. The National Library of Medicine, meanwhile, notes how there are great benefits to naming even when you aren’t intentionally focusing on toddler language development. This allows your child to improve their listening and speaking functions: the “beginning of being truly verbal.”
Play telephoning, that is! MomJunction.com suggests that you set up two toy phones and even “decorate the phone booth with funky colors, to appeal to your little one’s imagination.” Then, simply call your toddler and encourage them to answer. Besides helping with toddler language development, your child can improve conversational skills and even learn the basics of phone etiquette.
Having regular conversations with your young child naturally helps with language development. To take it a step further, MomJunction.com suggests that you focus on the creation of complete sentences. If, for example, your child points to a banana and says “banana,” you know what they want. If you ask “Do you want a banana?”, you can encourage a response in a full sentence—perhaps, “Yes, please, I want a banana.”
Healthwise by Kaiser Permanente shares how reading books with your child will expose them to language with rhyming books that help teach patterns. It can also engage your child’s imagination and spur them onto playing imaginatively. After all, your toddler may not know anything about oceans, the article says, or dinosaurs, but a combination of reading and pretending opens up new worlds.
Plus, books can help children understand their feelings. Healthline notes how reading to a toddler also helps them to develop concentration skills, assisting them in having a longer attention span and enhancing their ability to sit still when that’s needed.
Toddler Care at Horizon Education Centers
Horizon includes language and literacy skill development as part of our toddler child care programs. The programs also include cognitive development, preschool readiness, self-help skills, and social and emotional development with a focus on physical health.
For more information and to get answers to your questions, please fill out the form on the toddler care page.