Your child continually learns new words and expands their vocabulary. The more you talk and introduce new words and concepts to your child, the more their vocabulary grows. As their language skills grow, the more they will use descriptive language and more complex grammar. Your child should be able to speak clearly, express thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Children should also be able to describe familiar places, things, and events. Your child should be able to take turns speaking, listening, and responding to what is being said. Here are some simple ideas to improve your child’s language skills.
Play Follow the Leader
Go on a nature walk! Together you and your child can watch how an insect moves, observe the new scenery, and count the number of animals and birds that you see. Use the experience to introduce new vocabulary words. You can ask questions such as, “What do you think lives in this tree?” or “What might have made these holes in the ground?”
Create a simple relay race with 2 or 3 steps, such as “Walk across the yard, pick up the red block, and hop back across the yard.” This activity is a fun way for your child to practice following directions.
Set up a tea party with your child. Pick something to talk about such as an upcoming planned event, a popular toy or game, or a favorite book. Practice staying on topic and taking turns talking.
Use the games to develop language skills. You can identify body parts and actions (jump, stomp, spin) and practice following verbal directions. You can introduce the concept of opposites (up/down, stop/go, high/low). Give your child an opportunity to give the commands.
Have children draw pictures and discuss what they are doing. They can make up a story about their picture. You can tell a story and have them draw a picture to match. Children can practice following directions.
Build your child’s vocabulary by introducing new words and giving definitions. Talk to your child and model correct pronunciation and grammar. You can discuss likes/dislikes, share stories from your day, and ask open-ended questions.
When shopping with your child, discuss what you are buying, how many you need and what you plan to make with the ingredients. You can also discuss size, shape, and weight of products or packages.