Over the last few weeks I watched bears vocabulary grow in leaps and bounds from simple words and gutteral gestures to full blown conversations.
This morning was the cutest…
Bear was watching Caiou when the little boy hugs his mom , next thing bear runs up to me and gives me a big hug. Well my heart just melted into a puddle of mommy mush right there… I mean , just how darn cute is that ?
Next he’s at his toy box and he looks at me and in his best Barney sing song voice ge says ” I wuv oooo”.
A few minutes later he ungracefully shoved a “kaaar” into my hands and told me to “Taaaa” so he could eat his “naanaa”. He proceeded to chomp the banana, and his eyes spotted his Fischer Price talking “og” ( that’s dog for those who don’t speak beginner toddler).
For the last few days we’ve been talking more directly to bear. By this i mean , up until now we’ve included him in conversation, read to him and spoken to him but now we have this underlying goal to have our baby be able to communicate with us.
So I insist he say ta when he wants something and no longer just give him things he points to . I wait for the thank you after he’s received an item.
We purposely point out animals and items and hope to have him copy the word.
Last night as him and i sorted the mismatch chaos of his puzzle play I said dinosaur …what he copied was no where near dinosaur but it was a good try.
At the moment bears vocabulary is about 25 words and 4 phrases.
So how can you assist your toddler to develop their vocabulary?
1.Teach new words daily
Try to m
ake it a habit to teach a new words everyday. To do this you can point out the different objects in your home or in books. Bear likes us pointing out the animals in his puzzle and i find he loves to tell us what each piece is before placing them in the right space.
2. No baby talk
Developing language not only requires speaking but also listening so talk to your child as you would to another adult. This will encourage them to use proper words, rather than baby talk.
3. Describe your life
Talk as much as you can and often.
Spend the day describing your activities, the things around you, what you see and the sounds you hear to your toddler. Your child may not appear to be paying any attention but he is listening
4. Use cues
ake advantage of the cues around you. If it’s time to eat for example, involve your child in putting plates on the table and smelling the food before saying “it’s lunch time!”
Your child may not understand the word “lunch” but will soon get the idea that whenever you say “lunch” it means it’s time to eat.
5. Create opportunity
reate opportunities for your child to respond to you. Ask your toddler plenty of simple questions throughout the day.
You can start by asking ‘yes or no’ questions.
As he becomes more responsive, ask more complex questions like what do you want to eat or where do you want to go?
Remember to pause after asking a question to give your child time to reply.
If you can, use simple words and short sentences to make it easier for your toddler to grasp what you’re saying.
“Ta bottle” may be easier for your child to understand in the begining, rather than “please go collect your bottle from the table.”
7. Repeats to correct
Sometimes, your child might say ‘naanaa’ instead of banana , in this case reply with the actual word so that he can hear it. Reply by saying “yes, this is a banana”.
8. Keep it fun
Introduce singing , rhymes and poetry to your child’s day. These are fun ways to keep your child wanting to learn more.
9. Constant exposure
Read daily. Allow your child to interact with words through tv, apps, games and flashcards.
9. Grab focus
Maintain eye contact with your child when engaging him. Doing this will promote better understanding and helps to focus on what you’re saying to him.
10. That’s my name
Always use your child’s name in a sentence.
Your child will learn their name, identify that they are being addressed and gain a send a of self esteem .