3 Effortless Ways for Boosting Language Development in Infants
Language Development in Infants: 3 Effortless ways for boosting skills
What should I focus on for encouraging language development in infants?
Speech-Enhancing DVD for Babies and Toddlers
"All three of my children love to watch it (5,3 and 2). My non-verbal 24 mth old laughs and giggles through the whole DVD and most importantly has attempted some of the sounds. We are really impressed with it. In fact, as far as encouraging late talkers, we would rate this one up there."
It is difficult to come up with only one thing you can do. But a few things that immediately come to mind are:
responding to your child’s attempts at vocalization are important
as is quality time together, but then so is
story telling and playing word games.
So I conclude that there isn’t just one way of encouraging language development in infants.
But obviously there are a few proven ways to get results. Let's look at 3 of those ways.
3 Effortless Ways to Encourage Language Development in Infants
The most important thing you can probably do is to try and incorporate speech development into everyday life.
When clothing even the smallest child it takes no effort to discuss what is going on – ‘What a nice blue top’ or ‘Now your left arm and then the right one’.
If you go on a trip talk to the child about what can be seen as you go along. I get quite sad when travelling by bus or train and observing families where there is no conversation, or only a minimal level, between adult and child.
The parent may simply have switched off, be listening to headphones, or is talking to a friend and more or less ignoring baby in the pram.
Of course, we all need time to ourselves and we need to talk to other adults, but this need not mean that baby is ignored and after all babies do sleep a lot – take your own time then. It is lovely to hear small children chattering away about the passing scene, but they will soon fall silent without adult response.
So encourage your child to be aware of their surroundings – their world is their classroom long before they first enter a school room.
Often our days are made up of routine, familiar actions that we repeat over and over again. There is a sense of security in this for small children.
Involve them as much as you can.
Just sorting out the laundry can be an opportunity for learning. ‘Baby’s shirt’, ‘Whose shirt is this?’ ‘How many blue socks are there?’ ‘Can you help me put these socks in pairs?’ The language used will of course depend upon your child’s age - the earlier the stage the more simple the language – perhaps just pointing to baby’s clothing ‘Jimmy’s shirt’, ‘Jimmy’s pants’ and then later ‘Jimmy’s blue shirt’ or even ‘Jimmy’s light blue shirt.’
Another Way to Boost Language Development in Infants
"My one year old and I love his ABC blocks with bag. I stack the blocks and he knocks them down. We spell his name, and point to the different animal pictures as we sing "Old MacDonald". Daddy and I even use them to play a type of quasi Scrabble game. I believe we will use his blocks for years to come. With the alphabet, numbers, mathematical symbols, and animal pictures, uses for them seem to be endless (i.e. stacking, spelling, counting, math, identifying animals). They are also very durable and can easily take the punishment of a toddler. With so many toys now requiring batteries I find the simplicity of ABC blocks, along with their promotion of thinking and coordination (stacking) refreshing."
I don’t suggest that you give a toddler full rein in the kitchen, but they can certainly help – putting away the shopping, cutting out biscuits, decorating a pizza. Yes it will get messy, but what fun you’ll have.
This way of language learning quickly becomes part of your life - you don’t have to think about it - it becomes a natural part of your baby’s life and normal routine.
Go shopping – yes!
I know it can seem easier to get it done without a toddler in tow, but they can soon learn to fetch a packet or count the apples. I taught my children at a quite early age about unit pricing - in other words it doesn’t always matter what the actual price is - it depends upon how much you are getting for it.
This backfired sometimes as I would want to buy a particular packet of crackers - only to be told by a three year old ‘Buy this one Mommy. There’s more in this packet.’ She did however grow up into a very astute shopper.
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