How to teach your toddler to talk...now!
Help your toddler learn to talk as early as now!
It’s exciting to see how the funny gurgles and babbling that your baby does are slowly giving way to proper words. But he’s not quite speaking yet. If you’re keen on encouraging early speech, read on to find out how you can help your toddler learn to talk.
1) Talk and talk
Make it a habit to teach new words everyday by pointing out the different objects in your toddler’s environment. Also, talk to your child as you would to another adult. This will encourage him to use proper words, rather than baby talk, cute as it may be. Talk as much as you can and often. Describe your daily activities to your toddler. Your child may not appear to be paying any attention but rest assured, he is listening!
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2) Use cues
When you help your toddler learn to talk, take advantage of the cues around you. If it’s time to eat lunch, make a grand gesture of putting plates on the table and smelling the food before saying “it’s lunch time!” Your child may not understand the word “lunch” at first but will soon get the idea that whenever you say “lunch” in the middle of the day, it means it’s time to eat.
3) Create opportunities
Set the scene and create opportunities for your child to respond. Ask your toddler plenty of simple questions throughout the day. You can start by asking ‘yes or no’ questions. As he becomes more responsive, ask more complex questions like what your child wants to eat or where he wants to go. Don’t forget to pause for a few moments after asking a question to give your child time to come up with the words to reply.
If you can, use simple words and short sentences to make it easier for your toddler to grasp what you’re saying.
More tips on early toddler talking on the next page!
5) Repeat words to correct
Sometimes, your child might say ‘nana’ instead of banana or ‘caca’ instead of cracker. Make sure that you offer your toddler the actual word whenever this happens to reinforce his knowledge. If your child says ‘nana’ reply by saying “yes, this is a banana”.
6) Make it fun
Help your toddler learn to talk by making it fun. As an example, introduce new words in a form of a song or nursery rhymes. All the singing and the actions will help him remember the new words.
7) Constant exposure
When your child is already beginning to talk, don’t stop at just teaching simple words. Move on to multi-syllable words and see if your child can handle them. Use different tools to keep the constant exposure interesting, like flashcards, videos and books.
8) Call his/her name
In order to help your toddler learn to talk, always refer to him by name before saying a sentence. Maintain eye contact with your child when engaging him. Doing this will promote better understanding and helps your child to focus on what you’re saying to him.
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