Before a child ever enters the classroom, they rely on their parents for language development. Children whose parents spoke and read to them often during early childhood tend to have larger vocabularies than those who did not. Here are five ways to promote your child’s language development.
Talk with your child often, even if they are not able to respond yet. You can narrate the day’s events as they happen. “Now we are going to go to the grocery store. We need to buy chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes. After that, we will stop by the ice cream shop for a special treat!” As a child hears the words spoken to them, they will begin to understand how words are pronounced and sentences are formed.
Read every day
It is never too early to start reading to your child. As an infant, start with board books that either have only illustrations or one to two words per page. As they grow older, progress to short stories and then to longer ones. Take them to the library and let them pick books based on their interests. Also, ask your local library if they host storytimes or puppet shows during the week.
Listen to music together
Music and movement is a fun and engaging way to develop language. There are CDs of child-friendly music you can purchase for car rides, or you can easily find these songs online to play at home. Children begin to explore rhythm and rhyming words when they listen to music.
Monitor ear infections
Ear infections are common among group child-care centers. Prolonged ear infections can cause language delays due to hearing loss. If your child has an ear infection, be sure to visit the pediatrician promptly and follow their guidelines for medication administration. After the medication is finished, request a follow-up appointment to ensure that your child’s ears are free from infection.
Explore the outside world
Take your child to interesting places and observe the world around you. Places like zoos, aquariums, or children’s museums are great places for your child to explore. When they encounter something new, be sure to tell them what the name of it is to build their vocabulary.
There are opportunities in everyday life to build your child’s language development. Communicate with your child often through talking to them or exposing them to books. Not only does this boost their vocabulary and language, but it helps create memorable bonding experiences that everyone will appreciate.