Speech & Language Activities for Children
There are many easy activities that you can do with your children to encourage better speech and language skills. If you’d like to jumpstart language acquisition, consider making these speech and language activities with your children a part of your everyday lifestyle.
Simple Games: Did you know that playtime activities are a great way to develop your child’s speech and language skills? There are lots of fun speech activities that you can play to work on language skills, but consider the following: pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, and waving bye-bye.
Use Everyday Tasks: Everyday speech activities are perfect for proper developmental language skills. As you’re going about your day with your baby, simply talk about what you’re doing, where you’re going, or who you’re going to see.
Repeat and Imitate Language: Although babbles, coos, and gurgles may just be baby talk, you should still respond to these utterances as if they were real language. While you’re doing so, remember to imitate your baby’s laugher and facial expressions.
Teach Animal Sounds: When your children learn animal sounds, they’re on their way to faster talking. Some great ways to introduce your children to the world of “roar” and “moo” is to engage in language activities like singing songs that incorporate animals, reading a book with animal sounds, acting like your favorite animal, and utilizing animal sound apps.
1 to 2 Years
Observe and Comment: Throughout the day, point to familiar objects and say their names. There’s no need to feel as though you need to fill all of the silences with banter. Just casually comment on the things that your children are doing so that they can learn new vocabulary.
Watch Your Language Level: Avoid using complex sentences that your children aren’t going to understand. Speak to your children using simple, grammatically correct speech that they can easily imitate. Here’s a great example: “More juice?”
Imitate Sounds: Make speech and learning development fun by imitating sounds with your children. Such sounds may include fire sirens, chirping birds, barking dogs, or running water.
Expand On Words and Sentences: Rather than asking your children to repeat words, consider expanding on their words and sentences. If your child says “apple,” respond with “You want more apple?”
Don’t Forget OWL:
- Observe the things and activities that interest your children.
- Wait about 20 seconds for your children to initiate.
- Listen to what your children have to say.
2 to 3 Years
Be A Great Role Model: During this critical age range, it’s important to model the behavior that you’d like to see from your children. The best way to accomplish this goal is to use clear and simple speech that your children can easily imitate. As you’re engaging in conversation with your children, remember to face them as you are speaking. Don’t forget to always model correct pronunciation.
Communicate Regularly: Even if it’s just for a few minutes every day, spend some quality time with your children without any distractions. During this interaction, gently ask your children to repeat words and phrases that you don’t understand. Instead of asking “yes” or “no” questions, ask your children questions that require a choice. Here are some great questions: Do you want a snack? How do you feel today?
Engage in Daily Language Activities: When it comes to speech and language development, you can make an everyday activity a learning one. Singing songs with your children is a great way to encourage proper speech and literary development. Just make sure that you sing songs that contain rhythm and rhyme. Do you have many family photos lying around the house? Encourage your children to describe what is happening in the photos with simple phrases and sentences.
Read Books, Books, and More Books: Many studies have shown that books are a great way to help children develop optimal language and early literacy skills. That’s why as a parent, it’s a good idea to use books to expand on your children’s vocabulary. When you are reading a book to your children, consider pointing to objects, using synonyms for familiar words, and describing the pictures in a book. To encourage better literary skills at this age, make sure to choose books with simple sentences.
The Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center Is Here To Help!
If you have any concerns about your children’s speech, language, or hearing development, you should schedule a consultation with the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center immediately. Our Center offers screenings, evaluations, and treatment for children in the Northeast Florida, area.