Top 10 Tips to help speech and language development when you are playing/interacting with your baby/toddler.
Allow your baby/toddler choose the toy, object or activity and follow their lead when they are doing something with toy, object or activity.
Allow lots of waiting time for your baby/toddler to communicate. Communication can look like any of the below:
Smiling, gurgling, reaching, looking, pointing, laughing, making noises, babbling, words, talking.
Listen to what they are saying/communicating and affirm all attempts. Affirmation is any response verbal or non-verbal that you make to their communication attempt ( smiling back, gentle tickles, pointing also, looking, making your own sounds, imitating and adding to what they have done, verbal affirmation by saying “yes that’s right and………)
Use short and simple sentences when talking/naming/labelling what is happening or what they are doing.
Very rarely ask questions or keep questions to the bare minimum.
If your child is using words or sentences, repeat what they say and add something (an adjective or a short simple idea) to it. Be careful not to correct them, if they mispronounce a word, repeat the word the correct way, but don’t draw their attention to the mispronunciation.
Be careful not to correct them, if they mispronounce a word, repeat the word the correct way, but don’t draw their attention to the mispronunciation.
Give praise by explaining and praising what they did well. For example “ I really like the way you built that car…. It’s great how you waited to take your turn….Look at you turning the pages “….
Always be aware of the messages you are communicating, for example; scrolling through your phone when they are making communication attempts (e.g., smiling, gurgling, reaching etc,.,,) could be saying to them, that their “talking” is not important. Try and affirm as many communication attempts as you possibly can, where you are together.