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Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development at Home
There are many ways you can help your child learn to understand and use words:
2 to 4 Years
- Speak clearly to your child. Model good speech.
- Repeat what your child says to show that you understand. Add on to what she says. Use words like, “Want juice? I have juice. I have apple juice. Do you want apple juice?”
- It’s okay to use baby talk sometimes. Be sure to use the adult word too. For example, “It is time for din-din. We will have dinner now.”
- Cut out pictures of favorite or familiar things. Put them into categories, like things to ride on, things to eat, and things to play with. Make silly pictures by mixing and matching pictures. Glue a picture of a dog behind the wheel of a car. Talk about what is wrong with the picture and ways to “fix” it.
- Help your child understand and ask questions. Play the yes–no game. Ask questions such as, “Are you Marty?” and “Can a pig fly?” Have your child make up questions and try to fool you.
- Ask questions that include a choice. “Do you want an apple or an orange?” “Do you want to wear your red shirt or your blue shirt?”
- Help your child learn new words. Name body parts and talk about what you do with them. “This is my nose. I can smell flowers, brownies, and soap.”
- Sing simple songs and say nursery rhymes. This helps your child learn the rhythm of speech.
- Place familiar objects in a box. Have your child take one out and tell you its name and how to use it. “This is my ball. I bounce it. I play with it.”
- Show pictures of familiar people and places. Talk about who they are and what happened. Try making up new stories.