15 Tips To Teach Your Toddler To Talk: Improve Speech Development to Lessen Parent and Child Frustration
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When you teach your toddler to talk, you’re sure to garner a few “WOWS!” But the real blessing is in the gift of speech and articulation that you are giving your little one. By simply following these 15 tips to teach your toddler to talk, you’ll be doing a huge favor for your kiddo!
Wow, He Talks Really Well
Whenever someone asks me how old my youngest child is, I know what’s coming next. Strangers ask this question after chatting with him for a minute. After I tell his age, the response is always the same, ”Wow, really? He talks so well for his age!” “Yup. He does.” I jokingly tell them that his siblings get most of the credit for his vocabulary. Although I’m not really kidding.
Honestly, though, I just love chatting with my little people. So knowing how to teach a toddler to talk has always been important to me. I start working on vocabulary and speech patterns early with my kids.
Doing so has produced excellent conversation skills for each one of them.
The toddler years offer up the best chance to teach your child to talk. He is already learning new sounds, lip and tongue movements, and trying to mimic you. Using the development that is happening naturally during this time of his life – to his advantage is a smart parenting move.
Why is Toddler Talk Important?
One study I read recently stated that almost 8% of U.S. Children have a communication disorder. Do you know how communication (speech) disorders are treated?
You know what therapy is?
Being intentional to teach your toddler to speak real sounds and words correctly from the very start will go a long way in their speech (and brain) development.
Listen to me, Mommy… you have monumental amounts of power and influence when it comes to your child’s speech development.
Children learn at varying levels, but you have a lot of say-so in the matter.
A few weeks ago, my 3-year-old was walking by and said, “Mommy, I just STINKIN’ love you!!!” I was immediately thrown into a fit of laughter. I was also filled with humility and gratitude at the impact my words and training are having.
You see, I say silly things… a lot.
All 4 of my kids have adopted some characteristic of the way I talk. Truth be told, they have all taken on many of my speech habits. However, this youngest of mine has a full-on Mommy mouth!
The impact you have on your toddler’s speech cannot be overstated. You have the power. Pun intended.
15 Tips To Teach Your Toddler To Talk.
#1. Teach your toddler in 2-word pieces. Thus meaning, two words at a time. Any more than that and she may not be able to hold it all in her brain at a time.
#3. Make him ask for everything! You know what your child wants. You can read his body language, his facial expressions, and his tone. Go beyond knowing him and teach him by making him ask.
#4. After a while, start stringing two-word phrases together to make sentences.
#5. Make exaggerated mouth movements she can SEE.
Examples of daily speech development tips
#6. When you are carrying her around, and she gets squirmy, don’t just put her down. Make her ask for it. Say: “Say, Get. (pause for 2 seconds) Down.” Offer immense praise when she makes any attempt to say two words, then let her down.
#7. When she wants her sippy cup of milk in the morning, and she is reaching for the counter and grunting for you to hand it to her, say: “Say, “Cup. (pause for 2 seconds) Please.” Offer significant praise when she asks and give her the cup.
#8. Do #6 and #7 – not 2 or 3 times throughout the day, but all day long. It takes minimal extra effort on your part and the return on investment with your child’s speech is huge.
#9. Before handing your child a toy, emphasize the consonant sound that the toy starts with or the sound that it makes if applicable. For instance, if you are handing your son his favorite toy truck, say: “Trucks go Vvvvrrrmm Vvvrrrmm! Say, Vvvrrrmm. Vvvrrrmm.” Once he’s made a solid attempt to make the vroom sound, give him the toy.
What YOU Can do to Teach Your Toddler to Talk.
#10. Burst into song in the middle of a sentence! Ya, this is fun and hilarious and something I have always done.
I was very excited when I learned singing your sentences is good speech therapy. At our house this looks and sounds like this: Instead of just saying, I like your sandcastle. I would say, “I like your (then sing) saa-aaa-nnn-dd (then say) castle.
#12. Stress the use of consonants and praise your child when you hear them. Grunting sounds, which are easier, are mostly vowels.
#13. Don’t ask your child, “Can you say ball?” Tell him, “You must say ball.”
Get others involved in teaching your toddler to talk.
#14. Put other children to work teaching your toddler to talk.
- I mentioned earlier that my older children are primarily responsible for how well my toddler-turned-preschooler can talk. It’s true. The older kids have grown up with intentional speech training, so they naturally do it as well. I can remember watching my older son teaching his toddler brother to talk in complete sentences. Little man was out of ketchup on his plate and wanted some more. Big brother noticed his little brother’s dilemma and said, “Look at my face. Say, ‘bubba (pause for repeat) please (pause for repeat) get (pause for repeat) me (pause for repeat) more (pause for repeat) ketchup (pause for a repeat.)’ Great job, buddy! Here you go.” All 3 of my older children have walked their baby brother through complete sentences like this regularly. Thus…. His extraordinary conversation abilities.
#15. Don’t allow your child to whine! This is very counterproductive in developing speech.
When your baby is entering kindergarten, you’ll want to be able to look back and know that you did everything in your Mommy-power to set him up for speech success.
Your Toddler Really Can Speak Properly.
The age at which your toddler should speak depends largely on his home life and environment. Use many opportunities (not just one or two) to teach 2-word pieces, require an obedient attempt, and be intentional with speech training on a daily basis. You can not raise the same child twice. In 4 years, you’ll be so glad to know you did everything you could to develop her speech correctly.