How to accelerate your child’s key developmental milestone: language
Consider these tips for nurturing your child’s language skills, regardless of age (5 weeks or 5 years old):
Listen to music together. This help kids learn the rhythm of language and encourages movement and interaction. His own song requests are encouraged!
Play, play, play. Language development is very closely related to play. It is around the same time-period that kids develop symbolic play (e.g. holding up a banana & pretending it’s a phone) that kids also begin to form their first words (around 12-13 months old).
Remove negative talk. It’s important to encourage ALL attempts at expression, and we all respond best to positive framing. Resist the urge to fact-check your little guy when he tells you he wants the pink crayon to color the grass. J
Practice turn-taking. When you imitate the words or sounds they’re using, it shows them that you hear them and approve of what they’re saying. Even if it’s just babbling back-and-forth or acknowledging when they point to something they want, this helps them develop important conversation skills.
Tell stories. Make up colorful stories that keep kids captivated. You might be surprised by how well they follow the characters and the plot.
Go on field trips. Whether it’s the zoo, a museum or just an unfrequented store, adventures like these help open their eyes to new wonders and the words that describe them.
It’s almost too simple: enjoy your children in slow, small but significant ways and they’ll be great orators in no time. Keep it up, Mama.
This was originally published in the MOPS mom email. For more great mom content, subscribe to our mom email twice a month.