Talking is one of the most important skills that babies should start developing around their fourth month of age. It should mature as they reach their first year and strengthen and polish as they grow as toddlers. Both parents and pediatricians consider the ability of speaking one of the most relevant highlights in a child’s development, and therefore, it is quite reasonable that they start getting worried when the child does not talk or only expresses himself with a confusing and unarticulated limited variety of blubbering with no meaning at all.
Before rushing to a speech development expert, parents can try to encourage their child’s speech within the comfort, privacy and familiarity that their house offers. If your child seems to be too shy to speak or not interested in doing so at all, in this article you will find different and attractive games you can play with your child to encourage speech.
But before jumping head first to the recreational activities you can enjoy with your child, let us remind you that your main objective is to encourage your child to speak, to acquire new vocabulary and to express himself or herself just as other children his age do. With this being said, you are highly advised to avoid making up your own baby language in order to communicate with your child. This will not only deviate you from your true objective but also confuse your child. Remember that you should always use short and simple words with him in order to be more effective.
One of the most popular games you can try with your child to encourage his speech is to talk to him at every opportunity you have. Articulate each word properly without exaggerating and help your child imitate you. Talking to your child is an efficient way of helping him to mature his speech skills. The more stimulated he is, the better.
Other parents have discovered that rhymes and songs for toddlers are their best games for speech encouragement. Start by choosing the shorter and more repetitive ones and make sure not only to repeat them over and over again to your child, but to also act them out. Once your child seems engaged and attracted by the rhyme or song, encourage him to repeat it after you or to complete the last word of the sentence. Congratulate your child with every progress he or she makes. You should bear in mind that children love listening to the same story or song over and over again, so be patient with your child if he just wants to help repeat the same rhyme for hours on end!
Many times, singing becomes a useful educational toy that can help your child feel more confident with his speaking skills. Stimulate him by playing different songs for him, and whenever you see that he is particularly attracted to one of them, take your time to teach it to him.
Naming games such as “Where is Pam’s nose?” are also highly efficient alternatives. Reward your child as he shows he understands what you are saying and enthusiastically encourage him to name that body part himself.
Giving your child praise when they accomplish each little step in the speaking process will make them want to repeat the process. This will help them learn more and more!
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