Language Development Activities for Toddlers
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Communication is a crucial aspect of cognitive development in children. Language development is essential for children to enable learning. If your child can speak and understand well, their learning and reading will also improve. If you find that your toddler has trouble with their language or hasn’t started to speak efficiently even after a certain age, you can engage them in a few fun activities that can help them develop their language skills. Toddler language development activities are easy to understand and exciting to do. We have mentioned these activities in this article that can help them develop language skills. Let’s read!
Video: 10 Language Development Activities for Toddlers
14 Activities for Language Development in Toddlers
The following communication and language activities for toddlers can help your child learn and model his language skills.
1. Play the Telephone Game
A toy telephone can be an active part of your little one’s playtime. Get a pair of toy telephones and pretend that you are dialling his number to call him. Encourage him to pick up the phone and answer. Teach him how to say ‘hello’ when he answers the phone. Doing this activity regularly can help your child develop good phone etiquette and improve his speaking skills.
2. Sing With Him
Singing lyrics of rhymes and songs can help your toddler improve his language while having fun. You may also introduce new words and teach him nouns and verbs using a song.
3. Play ‘Name the Thing’
Point to various objects in your house and ask your toddler to name them. You can help him with the names until he begins to say them on his own. This is an easy way to build and improve his vocabulary. This game can be played anywhere – your house, in the park, or even in the supermarket.
4. Speak in Complete Sentences
Ask your toddler simple questions and encourage him to speak in complete sentences. This will give him a good idea of how sentence construction works and help him construct strong, coherent sentences. Ask your child simple things like, “do you want an orange?” and teach him to respond in a full sentence. This practice will act as a strong foundation for the future, as he will be able to articulate his thoughts better.
5. Read Him Books
Reading to your toddler every night is a great way to introduce him to different words. Read him a simple book with pictures and ask him questions related to the story. You can also try pointing at images in the book and ask him to identify them. This can help improve his vocabulary and teach him to give accurate responses to the questions asked.
6. Join the Dots
Draw a dotted outline of the different letters of the alphabet. Now, ask your toddler to join these dots and identify the letter. This will enhance his motor skills and teach him to write better. You can also give him crayons or colour pencils to make the activity exciting for him.
7. Give Him Toys and Puppets
Give your toddler toys or puppets and encourage him to have conversations with them. Kids are creative and imaginative – once you show them the way, they will take over. You can also use puppets to have simple conversations with your child. Put on a puppet show to make playtime more enjoyable.
8. Match the Alphabet
Draw the letters of the alphabet on cardboard and hand it to your child. Next, give him pictures of objects and ask him to identify them. Then, ask him to match the picture with the starting letter of the object. This way, he will use phonetics to match the letters to the object, thus building his ability to spell correctly.
9. Set An Obstacle Course
If your toddler is over two years of age, you can create a simple obstacle course around the house. Give your child one instruction at a time so that he doesn’t get confused. Give him some time to complete the activity. You can also write out instructions on paper and place them around the house.
For example, if you want him to sit in a box, place a chit on the box that says, “sit inside the box.” You can then instruct him further and wait for him to follow through. Once he is in tune with the activity, you can try giving him more than just one instruction at a time and challenge him to complete it within a period of time.
Activities such as this one are best done when the child can understand simple instructions and can read. Such activities help build the expression power of the child.
10. Have Intelligent Conversations With Him
Even though your child may not be able to immediately respond to you, he will be listening keenly. Ask him for his opinions, thoughts, likes, and dislikes. Listen to him when he responds, and repeat what he said using coherent, grammatically correct sentences. This can help him express himself better and improve his articulation.
11. Stress on the Details
Whenever you are having a conversation with your child, encourage him to speak to you in vivid detail. Point out an object on the street (say, a car) and ask him what it is. When he says ‘car’, add more details to it (“It’s a car. A blue and black, long car.”). This will build your child’s vocabulary and develop his observation skills.
12. Make Animal Sounds
Children love animal sounds. So, take some animal pictures or figurines and show them to your child. Make the sound of that particular animal and make your child mimic it. This skill set is known as phonological awareness and is crucial for learning to read and write.
13. Role Play Game
Playing role-play games allow a child to explore their imagination without restrictions. As a child dress up for different roles, they also learn a few words about the character they are playing, which helps them in building their vocabulary, and, thus, enhances their language skills.
14. Tongue Twister
A fun and excellent way to teach toddlers correct pronunciation and enunciation of words. Tongue twisters help kids to train their tongues to pronounce words. Remember to start with simple ones and work your way up.
What Is Language Development Delay?
Language development delay refers to a child’s difficulty in understanding and/or using spoken language. These include:
- Difficulty in responding to language
- Difficulty in understanding words or sentences
- Difficulty in saying first words or learning words
- Difficult in putting words together to make sentences
- Difficulty in building vocabulary.
What Is the Importance of Language Development for Toddlers?
Language is central to learning. Without language development, a child cannot make sense or communicate their understanding of a subject. They will need to develop language skills in order to communicate and to understand and make the most effective use of their study materials.
1. What Are the Stages of First Language Development?
Here are the stages of language development
- Stage 1: (0-6 months) Cooing or pre-talking stage
- Stage 2: (6-8 months) Babbling
- Stage 3: (9-18 months) Holophrastic stage
- Stage 4: (18-24 months) Two-word stage
- Stage 5: (24-30 months) Telegraphic stage
- Stage 6: (30+ months) Later multiword stage
2. What Is Language Arts for Toddlers?
In language arts, children learn different forms of language, like symbols, sounds, gestures, and words. This involves a step-by-step approach that builds a strong foundation for children at an early age.
Your child will mimic you and learn from you, so it is important that you practice good grammar and speak as clearly as possible to help him pick up on words. Introduce new words to him on a regular basis and explain what they mean. Language development can help your toddler prepare for a successful future as he will be able to communicate better and express himself in a clear manner.
Language development is an essential part of your baby’s growth. Some children pick it instantly while some children take some time. With a little bit of patience, you can deal with any development issues. However, if you notice delayed speech and poor language skills after the age of three despite having performed these activities, consult your doctor to check for underlying causes like hearing impairment.
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2. Speech and Language Delay; familydoctor.org; https://familydoctor.org/condition/speech-and-language-delay/
3. Language Delays in Toddlers: Information for Parents; healthychildren.org; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/language-delay.aspx
4. 12 Ways to Support Language Development for Infants and Toddlers; naeyc.org; https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/support-language-development-infants-and-toddlers
5. Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development; readingrockets.org; https://www.readingrockets.org/article/activities-encourage-speech-and-language-development
6. 5 Great Language Development Activities; napacenter.org; https://napacenter.org/activities-for-language-development/
7. Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development; asha.org; https://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/activities-to-encourage-speech-and-language-development/
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