3 Easy Ways to Encourage our Children to Talk

3 Easy Ways to Encourage our Children to Talk

2022-03-24T14:23:51+00:00March 24th, 2022|

Having a child is one of the most rewarding thing for parents. This is one of the reasons why parents are always looking forward to see how their children develops, or how they will grow up. Some parents really take note or even record the different milestones that their children achieve. One of the things that we look forward to is when a child starts to walk and talk. However, not all children are early talkers which can be worrying for parents who wonder if something is wrong.

To be clear, children learn to make sounds or talk at different pacing. So if your baby talks later than an older sibling, there probably isn’t anything to worry about. At the same time, it helps to understand typical language milestones. This way, you can foresee developmental issues early. The earlier the better as toddler age is the optimal period where children learn words.

If you are wondering in how to encourage your child to “say something”, below are the top 3 ways that we do for toddlers,

  1. Make use of highly-motivating activities/objects
    • This strategy words very well during our snack time. In school, one of the most motivating time for children is either snack time or play time. Hence, we always take this opportunity to make them request/ask for the snack they have for the day. Usually, food is the easiest reinforcer for toddler aged children.
    • How do we do it? We offer the desired food bit-by-bit. Meaning we don’t give the whole portion of their snack. Instead, we place in their food box piece by piece as this will make them ask for “more” several times. The main word we use for this is “MORE”.
    • Ask your child, “Do you want more?” If he did NOT respond, give him 5-10 seconds to respond, model the word “more”, and then give the desired object.
  2.  2. Give them waiting time
    • Waiting time does not mean a few minutes. The best waiting time is just about 5-10 seconds. This short period of time is to see or anticipate your child’s willingness to start interaction.
    • The question is, what is the waiting time for? Waiting is very important as it gives your child the time to process what is being said, try things on his/her own, connect what they are seeing or hearing and realise s/he is expected to do.
    • In class, waiting time is best used on one-on-one floor time with a child. This helps him/her to understand that his/her response is important to us. The best activity is when singing nursery rhyme songs with hand puppets.
    • Position yourself face to face with your child and make sure you have same eye-level. Once you start singing the song “Twinkle twinkle little star”, you can pause and give “waiting time” on the part “Twinkle twinkle little………s………tar”. You will be surprised that after sometime, your child would realise that the pause is the time for them to respond.

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat the words as much as you can

  • The best way to give your child language/word stimulation is to repeat important words several times in many different forms. This strategy is also used by our speech therapist and this helps the children to process and remember the desired words.
  • For example, you are teaching your child to slot in buttons in a container, your desired word is “IN”, you may say….
    • Button, IN.
    • Big butting is going IN.
    • IN pink button
    • Push IN
    • Let’s put in IN
    • Yellow button, IN.
  • Wait for about 5-10 seconds to give your child a chance to react or respond. Some children need to hear a word many times before they can understand it, and try to say it.

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