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Encouraging Your Child’s Language




 By age one

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Respond to your child’s coos, gurgles, and babbling, so they will participate
  • Talk to your child as you care for him or her throughout the day
  • Read colorful books to your child every day causing them to develop color senses
  • Tell nursery rhymes and sing songs
  • Teach your child the names of everyday items and familiar people
  • Take your child with you to new places and situations
  • Play simple games with your child such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”

Between one and two

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Reward and encourage early efforts by saying new words
  • Talk to your baby about everything you’re doing while you’re with him
  • Speak simply, clearly, and slowly to your child while explaining relevant things
  • Talk about new places before you go, while you’re there, and when you are back home
  • Look at your child when he or she talks to you
  • Describe what your child is doing, feeling, hearing as soon as they have any problem
  • Let your child listen to children’s records and tapes
  • Praise your child’s efforts to communicate

Between two and three

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Repeat new words several times
  • Help your child listen and follow instructions by playing games: “pick up the ball,” “Touch Daddy’s s nose”
  • Take your child on trips and talk about what you see before, during and after the trip
  • Let your child tell you answers to simple questions
  • Read books every day, perhaps as part of the bedtime routine
  • Listen attentively as your child talks to you
  • Describe what you are doing, planning, thinking
  • Have the child deliver simple messages for you (Mommy needs you, Daddy )
  • Carry on conversations with the child, preferably when the two of you have some quiet time together
  • Ask questions to get your child to think and talk
  • Show the child you understand what he or she says by answering, smiling, and nodding your head
  • Expand what the; child says. If he or she says, “more juice,” you say, “Adam wants more juice.”

Between three and four

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Talk about how objects are the same or different
  • Help your child to tell stories using books and pictures
  • Let your child play with other children
  • Read longer stories to your child
  • Pay attention to your child when he’s talking
  • Talk about places you’ve been or will be going

Between four and five

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Help your child sort objects and things (ex. things you eat, animals. . )
  • Teach your child how to use the telephone
  • Let your child help you plan activities such as what you will make for Thanksgiving dinner
  • Continue talking with him about his interests
  • Read longer stories to him
  • Let her tell and make up stories for you
  • Show your pleasure when she comes to talk with you

Between five and six

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Praise your child when she talks about her feelings, thoughts, hopes and fears
  • Comment on what you did or how you think your child feels
  • Sing songs, rhymes with your child
  • Continue to read longer stories
  • Talk with him as you would an adult
  • Look at family photos and talk to him about your family history
  • Listen to her when she talks to you

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