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Encouraging Language Development in Children: Practical Tips and Strategies

Let's be honest; as parents, there are a million and one things for us to worry about and parents often worry that their child isn't talking enough! That's where I come in – as a speech therapist! I am here to offer my tips, tricks, advice, and services if they are needed. I recently became a mother, and boy, oh boy, do I cringe at the recommendations I made as a younger therapist, "Just talk to your kid; it's EASY." Well, for some, it's not easy. Even as a speech therapist who has made her living TALKING, it can be hard for me. So, I hope you find this blog to help you encourage language in your little one! Here are five tips that I use to help encourage language in my little one AND some of the little ones I work with!

  1. Label things in your environment! Whether you are at home or at the grocery store, label things! Take your little one on a tour around your house, labeling common objects. As you are getting ready, label "mirror," "sink," "hair," and "face!" It may not seem like much, but your kiddo's brain is absorbing EACH and EVERY word you say!

  2. Give your child options when offering something they want. Allowing your child to have control goes a long way! I also like to pair this with what they definitely want and what they absolutely don't want. For example, "broccoli or cookie?" Even if your child is not yet labeling these items, you can model the words and work on pointing or gesturing towards the preferred item!

  3. Read, read, read, read. Reading opens your child's world to a variety of words and phrases that they will hopefully use one day! While you're reading, you don't have to worry too much about the written words on the page; you can even talk about the picture! For example, you can say, "He is running," "She is happy!," or ask questions about the pictures, "What is she eating?"

  4. Hold objects near your mouth while labeling! This may feel funny at first, but holding items near your mouth while you label can help draw attention to the way words are produced. You can also exaggerate the first sound, "Ball."

  5. Narrate what you are doing while you play. When playing with my daughter, I frequently give a play-by-play of what I'm doing. For example, if we are pushing a car, I state, 'Go red car, go, go, go!" or "Go fast car!" as I push the car around!

While being a parent is stressful, I hope using some of these tips will be helpful to encourage your little one to talk! If you have questions, I would love to chat! You can follow us on our social media or book a free consultation! We are here to support you!

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