Is your toddler not as chatty as you would like them to be? It is simple for any parent to improve their toddler’s speech. Here are five toddler speech therapy tips for parents to consider. How many have your tried?
#1. Talk About What They Are Doing
The best way to encourage your toddler to speak is to talk about whatever is most relevant to them. This generally means whatever they are doing. When you are watching your toddler play, talk aloud about what he or she is doing. Speech therapists call this ‘parallel-talk’. Keep the sentences short and simple such as ‘You threw the ball’. This is a good technique for promoting speech.
#2. Say Simple Comments Instead Of Questions
Asking your toddler too many questions can confuse them and make them shy away from talking. They may think you are testing them. One of the best tips is to say simple comments instead of asking questions. For example, if your toddler has a red ball, asking ‘What’s that?’ won’t help them. If you say ‘I like your red ball!’ and wait a little while, they may find it easier to say something. If they don’t talk, simply add some more comments such as ‘Your red ball looks fun!’. Many toddlers find it a challenge to respond to questions. Toddlers are more likely to say something if you make simple comments.
#3. Talk About What You Are Doing
Take the pressure off by talking about what you are doing. Therapists call this ‘self-talk’. When you are with your toddler, talk about what you are doing. As you see, touch, listen to or move around, talk aloud to help your toddler understand what you are doing. Try to keep this short, simple and fun. It is kind of like speaking your inner thoughts aloud to help your toddler learn what you are doing. You can’t expect your toddler to repeat everything you say but they will understand. For example, if you see a cute cat, say things like ‘I see a cute cat!’, ‘The cat is white’, and ‘Hello cat!’. Narrating what you are doing gives your child exposure to language and helps your child understand that talking is fun and functional.
#4. Offer Choices Instead Of Open-Ended Questions
Some toddler struggle to answer open-ended questions. If you see a cat, asking ‘Where’s it going?’ may not elicit a verbal response from your toddler. If your toddler doesn’t respond to open-ended questions, simply give them a choice. This tells them that they have control and that their input matters. Giving a choice makes it easier for your toddler to repeat things and give answers.
#5. Repeat And Correct
The final toddler speech therapy tip to consider is repeating what your toddler says and correcting it slightly. For instance, if your toddler says ‘Mommy, cook!’, you could simply repeat the correct sentence such as ‘Mommy is cooking’. This will help your toddler to remember the correct words and order next time.
Helping your child develop their speech is fun and simple. What do you think of our tips? Which tips would you add? Leave us a comment below!