Once your little one turned one, I hope all bottles and pacifiers magically disappeared from your home! Using straws is a great way to strengthen the muscles of your child’s mouth that are needed for accurate speech production. A great transition straw cup from a bottle is a Zoli or Thinkbaby Straw Cup!
My son, like so many toddler boys, loves sports! I found these great sets that allow him to get his “sports fix,” expand his pretend play and expand his language skills without balls flying everywhere in our home!
We often fall into the trap of using our name or our child’s name instead of using pronouns (I, me, my or you). For instance, when commenting on our actions, we say “Mommy will be there in one minute.” We need to model the use of pronouns (I, me, my and you) if we want our child to use them. So, we should comment, “I will be there in one minute.”
Encourage longer sentence use by mirroring what your child says! For example, if he says, “Hand!” You say, “You’re right, that is a big gorilla hand!”
Get low and talk eye to eye with your child. It will bring your child’s focus to you and the language you are using. It will also teach eye contact, an important piece of social language!
Throughout toddlerhood and preschool, your little one will learn a ton of language and sound awareness by reading books. Books with repetitive phrases, like Eric Carle’s, make reading time extremely interactive for our little ones! Check out my website (www.sayandtell.com) for some of my favorites!
Children enjoy pretending to act out events they have observed. While they are pretending, comment about what your child is doing using specific labels and actions!