20 Tips to Stimulate Children’s Speech
As a parent or a teacher, I’m sure you have heard many tips on how to stimulate your child’s speech. So, we have gathered all of them starting from the simple, easy tips until tricks that you might not have heard before.
Here are 20 creative ways to stimulate your child’s speech:
1. Start conversing with your child as soon as possible.
Parents should encourage speech as early as possible by conversing with them and make the children feel like they expect to be responded in those conversations. This will increase the child’s interest to learn to speak. In addition, the child’s speech quality and speaking skills will be better. So, keep on conversing with them since their births.
2. Create eye contact.
While communicating with your child, don’t forget to use intensive eye contact because he/she will feel attention, understanding, and love through it. Don’t put your back in front of your child while speaking to him/her.
3. Show love through the things you say.
Show them love and warmth through your intonation. You will form a tight emotional bond with your child, and increase his/her confidence at the same time.
4. Invite child to read along with you.
Use a relaxing and fun environment, so your child becomes a fan of books. Start with showing more pictures and using them to tell the stories. Then show him/her the structure of the words by pointing finger to the words, so the child understand that it goes from left to right, up to down, and the child can coordinate his/her gaze while reading.
5. Practice other things before teaching how to speak.
To be able to talk, the child needs to practice the mechanism, such as movements of mouth, tounge, and lips. Sucking, licking, blowing bubbles, and chewing are actually important skills to master before speaking. Practice those well, even using food.
It’s never too soon to start speaking to your child.
6. Sing to them frequently.
Sing to them frequently using funny and simple children’s songs, and repeat its rhythms and pronunciation. Sing in between plays and interactive games. Give your time to have those activities with them in order to develop their language skills.
7. When your child is crying, don’t leave him/her alone.
There has been a misperception that calming down a crying child will help them to be “independent”.
However, crying is the only way to communicate a baby’s needs and wants (thirst, hunger, cold, hot, emotional need, and boredom). So, if you ignore the baby’s cries, the baby can be frustrated.
Know what the baby needs when she/he is crying, so observe and understand their cries.
8. Joke around and make your child laugh.
Laughing is one of the ways for a child to communicate, so parents should often joke around and make a child laugh. This can also be done by making funny sounds and expressions so the child’s ability to communicate and interact will increase, as well as enhancing the development of language and speech.
9. Introduce meaningful words during routine activities.
Every newborn baby always needs to go through adaptation or repetition of patterns, activities, names, or events. Through this mechanism, parents can start to introduce meaningful words when the child is doing routine activities, for example: “Nyam-nyam” when eating.
10. Speak slowly and clearly.
Be a good role model for your child, especially in this time where your child is imitating your words.
Parents should speak slowly and clearly, followed by the associated actions (so the child can correlate the word and its meaning, in order to understand the word). Don’t forget to appropriate your expression and body language.
Include the child in family conversations so they will become interested in talking.
11. Follow the child’s mumbling.
Sometimes, follow the child’s mumbling, but follow it by saying the word correctly. If the child is able to say a word or syllable correctly, praise him/her using hugs, kisses, claps, and tell the child “how smart!”.
12. Understand each other’s languages.
The child will learn random language which you may not understand. This is the time to spare some time together to understand both languages, so parents and the child can understand each other. This can be in form of fun activities/games to increase motivation of your child.
If you are ignorant to the child’s “voice”, what he/she means, or even your facial expression is showing that, the child may feel that you are not putting efforts to understand him/her and there’s no point to talk using your language.
13. When uttering a word, follow it by its definition.
Always do this, even though the child may not understand everything. This explanation can also be done using pictures, movements, body language, or facial expression.
14. Read interactive and eye-catching books.
Read simple but interactive and eye catching books to your child frequently. Show them the objects inside, say their names, explain what it means and the plot of the story. Ask the child to repeat the names, and don’t forget to give praise when the child succeeds.
15. Introduce various sounds to the child.
Such as cars, motorcycles, cats, dogs, etc. Also introduce everyday sounds, such as door opening-closing, water, wind chimes, paper torn, fallen items, etc.
Introduce your child to new friends so they can learn talking together.
16. Count simple objects while playing.
You can start to introduce numbers by counting simple objects when you are playing with the child. Do it in a relaxed and comfortable environment, without pressure that the child should be able to master it in a short amount of time.
17. Introduce adjectives to the child.
Such as “good, beautiful, cold, many, little, salty, sweet, naughty, ugly, etc.”. One of the simple way is to mention it every time you speak of a noun, for example “good boy, sweet girl, clever boy, beautiful doll, naughty child, sweet bread”, etc.
18. Set up play dates for your child.
In this age, your child will feel more comfortable to talk to his/her peers that adults. Because of this, have play dates and set up social interactions for your child. One of the purposes of a nursery school is for that reason (enhancing communication and socialization skills).
Even so, the child’s language and word are still egocentric, but overtime it will become more social as the child gets older and his/her social circle becomes larger.
19. Tell interesting and interactive stories.
A story is a powerful media/tool to express emotions, naming emotions, and learn to empathise. In this activity as well,the child will be able to learn how to confidently express him/herself verbally and learning social behaviors.
20. Do not compare your child’s development with others.
Parents should remember to not compare your child’s development with others, because each child has his/her own challenges. So if your child is less able to speak than others, don’t put so much pressure to maximize his/her ability. This may increase stress in the child.
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