As a parent, it's exciting to watch your toddler learn new things, like developing the ability to use more words. Most toddlers have a mix of real words and made up words. Here are a few things you can do to boost your toddler's language development so that they learn how to correctly incorporate more real words into their vocabulary.
1. Enroll Your Child in Preschool
Preschool provides an excellent setting for your child to learn new words. They will be exposed to conversation, reading and spoken instructions throughout their day, and they'll have the chance to interact with other preschoolers and adults. Communication takes practice, and preschool ensures that your child has ample opportunity to communicate and listen to those around them.
2. Read a Book Together
Reading is an activity that has numerous benefits for toddlers. Not only does it expose your toddler to different scenarios that improve their emotional maturity, but it's a fun activity to expose your child to new words. A book need not have a lot of words to help with language development; a picture book is an excellent alternative. Just describe what you and your toddler see on each page and talk about what the characters are doing.
3. Narrate Your Day
If you feel like your days are jam packed, with little room for formal activities, narrating your day is an effective way to exposure your toddler to more words. You might tell your child what you're doing when you're running errands or doing housework. Or, you may describe the activities that your child and other family members are participating in.
4. Give Your Toddler Options
One way to nurture your child's independence while improving their language is to give them options. Your child will appreciate having the ability to control some aspects of their day, while you'll be able to expose your child to new words. For example, when it's dinnertime, you might ask if your child wants the red square plate or the blue round plate. Or, you could ask your child if they want milk or water for their beverage.
5. Expand Your Child's Sentences
Expanding and adding to your child's spoken words and thoughts is another easy way to ensure they receive ample exposure to new words. When they talk, take their sentences and add words or phrases. This helps your child understand that they can use more words and shows them how to correctly do so. If your child asks to watch their favorite TV show, you might say, “When we watch your show, let's sit on the couch."
The Y’s preschool program will help your toddler to not only expand their vocabulary and improve communication, but also increase problem-solving, teamwork and creative skills. Stop by any of our locations to enroll your child today.