Nothing compares to the feeling when your toddler utters their first words, even if it makes no sense. To be honest, language development happens rapidly in the early years of childhood.
This means that parents play a highly critical in language and vocabulary development. Even when you think they’re simply saying words that hold no meaning, they’re trying to speak something. Also, during the early years of development, children learn several new words mainly by hearing them in a sentence or a meaningful context.
That is why it is encouraged that you regularly speak to your baby, tell them stories, sing to them since they might not be able to talk, but they surely can understand what you’re saying. Of course, you can always teach them new words every day multiple times and in different contexts until they can fully understand their meaning.
Here we share a few tips on how you can engagingly make your baby learn new words and encourage language development.
Establish literacy routines
The best way for your child to learn new phrases is via communication. Read them as many books as you want, repeat the same stories over, and teach them via illustration. This will help them learn new values, new words and boost their speaking-related motor skills. Even when you’re not reading them, talk to them, maybe about your day, your childhood stories, and what you love doing. Every word you say matters and decides how well your baby can speak. So, make the most out of it.
Give them enough room to speak and understand
You cannot force a baby to speak when they’re not ready to. No matter if your friend’s baby started talking early, you cannot and must not rush the process. Let your kid be comfortable with saying things. Please pay attention to what they say and follow their lead. If your child speaks when paying Lego, talk to them about the same context.
In case your child struggles to speak, try picking up a topic and play a little in the process. Involve them in new things and let me take the lead. Don’t tell them what to do with a toy. Instead, see what they do and how they play with it.
Repeat things over and over
Your child needs to hear new words over and over again before they can actually memorize them and say them back to you. Remember how your mom used to teach you the word, Mama, until you could say it back. That is the deal. The more often you can use a new word, the earlier your baby will memorize it. Repeat words frequently until your little one adds them to their vocabulary.
Also, emphasize teaching your baby the meaning of the word. If you’re trying to teach them the phrase, thank you, tell them what it means and repeat it. Take the learning process slow until your child begins to understand it.
Turn your home into an illustrative learning place
Have conversations with them. Ask them questions about the story, explain the meaning of unfamiliar or interesting words, and draw connections of the story to your family life. Make learning new words a fun approach—label different things in your home to help your kids understand their meaning. Indulge them in wordplay. The easier you make the visual representation of the words, the easy will it be for your baby to learn and memorize them. Even with pictures, explain to your little ones how to pronounce it. To get started, make index cards.