As a parent, you can accelerate and enhance their verbal development by the way you interact with your child. Many studies show that talking and reading with your children extensively from an early age helps them to increase their vocabulary and other verbal abilities.
Give your sons and daughters a head start. Follow these practical tips full of simple and fun activities that will help your child to speak and write more effectively.
Tips for Talking with Your Child:
- Sing and dance. Children enjoy sounds and movement. Music also makes lessons more memorable and demonstrates the rhythm of language. Focus on repetitive lyrics and funny tunes.
- Share stories. Make up stories for your children and invite them to create their own tales. Personalize your works by using the names of family members and other familiar information.
- Ask questions. Children learn by asking questions, and answering them can help too. Use open-ended inquiries that will stimulate conversation.
- Play word games. Make learning fun with puzzles, puns, and riddles. Show how words that sound the same can have different meanings. Laugh about silly noises like ducks quacking and balloons popping.
- Discuss routine activities. Turn household chores and errands into teachable moments. Describe what you’re doing as you bake a cake or go shopping for school supplies.
- Follow their lead. Give your child your full attention when they’re talking to you. Build on what they’re saying. Ask them how they feel about various situations.
Tips for Reading with Your Child:
- Create a home library. Fill your home with attractive and enriching books and other reading material. Design an inviting reading nook like a table covered with blankets to look like a fort or a stack of soft pillows on the floor.
- Encourage their interests. PIck books about your child’s favorite subjects. Maybe they’re wild about horses or robots.
- Expand their vocabulary. Teach your child new words. Sound them out together and use them in a sentence.
- Take turns. As your child grows older, they can start reading to you sometimes. Even when they’re small, they can point out pictures and describe them.
- Give gentle feedback. Children are bound to make some interesting guesses as they’re learning about pronunciation and grammar. To guide them without discouraging them, try repeating back the corrected version of what they said while praising them for their efforts.
- Plan field trips. Bring language to life by visiting places where your children can see what they’re learning about. Attend special exhibitions at art and science museums and check the calendars for hands-on family activities. Visit amusement parks, state fairs, and toy stores.
- Limit electronics. Many experts recommend no screen time for children under 2, and limited hours at any age. While some educational programming can be beneficial, interacting face-to-face- with your child builds language skills more effectively than passively watching TV.
- See your pediatrician. Language skills can be affected by other events in your child’s life. For example, they may regress to baby talk during challenging transitions like starting kindergarten or adjusting to a divorce. Talk with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.
Help your child to succeed in school and beyond by teaching them how to express themselves and understand others. Spending time talking and reading with your child draws you closer together while you encourage their growth and development. Share with us in the comments what works for you!