1) Ditch the dummy!
Dummies are great for comfort and can help to soothe your child. However, if they are not upset, ditch it. Dummies can stop your child using the muscles in their mouth that needs to develop in order for them to speak.
2) Talk to your Child
Even when children don’t speak, they see and hear how language can be used e.g. to express feelings, needs, wants and desires. This will later replace crying as a form of communication. At Moonstone Day Care we bring language into the everyday.
3) Sing to your Child
There is numerous research to suggest that singing nursery rhymes to your child can support their language development. This is a much more fun way to hear words. And before you ask, “No!”, a CD or You tube is not a substitute because tones in your voice are also very important.
4) Always Read to your Baby
It is never too early to start reading. Babies hear words before they are able to repeat them. This is great for developing vocabulary. Reading to your baby also helps them to develop a love of books as they get older.
5) Repetition, Repitition, Repetition
When children are learning new words, repeating those words at every opportunity helps in the process. Children might not understand this but as they get older, when they learn something new and interesting, they often repeat it constantly. This might drive adults crazy but is important for processing information.
6) Praise Your Child for Trying
When children are learning words they don’t always get the pronunciation right. Don’t discourage them by saying no, praise them for trying while repeating the right word to show them how to use the word correctly.
7) Use tablets, TVs and Mobile Phones Sparingly
Children seem to constantly crave a screen. Playing with them instead, using lots of language, helps them to understand conversation skills. Again, this helps children learn how to use language and speech to get their needs and wants met. We will always try and get on the children’s level when communicating.
8) Keep it Simple
When you are talking to your child think about how many words you are using. Is it appropriate for the age of the child? If you need to use lots of words break them down. Short and simple will always be easier for your child to process.
9) Be Patient
It can take a child up to 10 seconds to process what you have said to them. If you have spoken to your child and need them to react or respond, wait, allow it to sink it before repeating it again.
10) HAVE FUN!
Children learn best when they are having fun so enjoy the time you spend with your little one. If you are having fun, they will too and they will benefit so much more. More importantly, they don’t stay little for long.