It can be quite frustrating to understand what our toddlers try to tell us. Their language skills is developing very fast but still not as fast as we would like.
There are several things we, as parents, can do on daily basis, to support our toddlers language development, help them expand vocabulary and learn faster.
I love to read to my children. I started them on books when they were just a few weeks old. At first we would just look at pictures while I described what it was. My children love the textured ones more but now as they are growing up they like engaging stories. Both my toddlers have hugely benefitted from books. We also like rhyming books and songs.
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When my son was a baby, I started teaching him sign language. By the time he was one, he was using about 20 signs. It really seemed to help him communicate what he wanted, and I think that it eliminated a lot of frustration. For a time when he was a toddler, just learning to speak, he used the signs and words, and eventually it just faded as the words became easier.
Talk to them from early on! I remember having conversations with my baby, and he loved it. As a toddler, I always emphasized the names of things, and he used to try and mimic me. It is a repetitive process, so use every opportunity to teach new words.
Books have always been a big part of our daily routines and they are a great way to introduce new words to your toddlers. I have read to each of my children almost every day since they were born. When they were babies I remember sitting up during the night reading them my favorite childrens stories (it was a great way to pass the time!). Then once they were sitting up we would look at simple picture books together. Now my daughter is 3 years old, she likes to choose the books for us to read together. We take regular trips to the library as well, so we always have new books and words to read together.
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I have found out that, with both of my daughters, pretend play was very important for language development. They love to play with dolls and cars alike and they are very chatty during play. Plus, toddlers remember things extremely well and if, for instance, you tell them a story to go along with a certain type of play, they will repeat it over and over while they play. As time passes, they will even add to a story and expand it.
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Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.