1. Read 2 to 3 books a day with a clear beginning and ending.
- Books can vary in length
- Be creative in your reading style (i.e., singing the words, playing with character voices, changing your speech).
- It is ok to skip pages based on your child’s attention span.
- Make books accessible throughout the day.
- The best time for reading is after lunchtime or before bedtime.
2. Starting at infancy, narrate your activities/environment throughout the day.
- For example, while getting ready to leave the house explain where you are going, what you will be doing and explain why you are putting on your coat.
3. Incorporated music and nursery rhymes into your baby’s day.
- Play music in the car (i.e., Laurie Berkner)
- Play music in the background during playtime.
- Read and/or say nursery rhymes to your child (encourage them to imitate you).
4. Turn-taking is important for acquiring language.
- Engage your child in turn-taking babbling (i.e., if they produce a sound, imitate their sound back to them). This encourages more vocalizations and verbalizations.
5. Encourage your child to play with sounds, voice and words throughout the day.
- This begins with the babbling, turn-taking activity above.
- When your child appears to be making requests through gestures and/or sounds (e.g., juice, toys, and picking them up), model the intended word.When your child is beginning to produce words, imitate their word with an additional word (preferably verbs) For example, if the child says “Up,” the parent could say “want up.”
- Remember, excessive pacifier use throughout the day will affect your child’s language use and speech production.
Stay tuned for “5 Ways to Enrich Your Child’s Language Development (3-5 years old)!”
Wendy Foote M.A., CCC-SLP: Wendy has worked as a speech language pathologist for 10 years. She currently works as a school based therapist, Early Interventionist, and provides private, home-based therapy for children in Manhattan. Feel free to contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Giannetta M.S., CCC-SLP: Laura has worked as a speech language pathologist for 5 years. She currently works as a school based therapist, Early Interventionist, and provides private, home-based therapy for children in Brooklyn. Feel free to contact her at: email@example.com