There is nothing more adorable in this world than a cute toddler running around the house playing. We simply love the charming little human smile and the obvious innocence in the angel-faced child. As parents, it is our role to nurture our toddlers and give them the best in life. At 12 to 36 months of existence, our cherub toddlers are developing their emotional, intellectual, and social growth. They are physically growing, their vision becoming clearer, they can hear well and are talking more (though most of the time we can’t understand), and they are developing their social skills. More importantly, our precious little toddlers are developing their vocalization. How can we foster and encourage toddler talk with parents in order to help our little angels develop their vocabulary?
Toddler vocalization stages
Before we dig deeper into the ways to aid our toddlers with their speech progress, we have to know the stages that our small children should go through. Learning about the toddler vocalization stages will allow us to set our expectations straight and not get disappointed when our young ones seem too slow to speak.
At 15 months, toddlers can form 10 to 15 words, though most of the time these words are known only to them. This is the stage when they use holophrasis to express a general or multifaceted idea. They usually use the word “no” many times to convey what they feel and want. And at 15 months in this Earth, the little angels can tell us in their own way that their diaper needs changing.
This is the stage where toddlers start to show temper tantrums. They are simply cute beyond words when they throw a fit to express their feelings. Toddlers can now say phrases that are mostly in the form of nouns and adjectives.
When our growing toddlers celebrate their second birthday, they will start to have a vocabulary composed of 350 words. They can now follow simple instructions and express their need to have every toy, even if it is not theirs.
On or before our children reach three years old, they become capable of talking in sentences. They have a range of ability in learning a new vocabulary of words every day.
Aiding in toddler language development
Now that we have a clear idea of what and when to expect our toddlers to form certain words and phrases, we can now try to the learning techniques to help them develop their speech patterns.
Language songs at night
It is not enough that we talk to our charismatic toddlers during the day to practice their vocabulary. We have to go the extra mile by collecting language songs and play them while our not so little babies are sleeping throughout the night. Studies show that this process can help our children develop their speech. While they sleep, the brain of our toddlers is continuing to develop and learn. And instilling language songs into their subconscious helps in their talking ability.
During the day, it is important that we talk to our toddlers in a narration method. For example, we can say “Now it is time to change your clothes. First, we will take off your shirt and put a fresh one.” Narration allows our cherished little humans to follow what we say with action. They can easily join what we say to what is actually happening.
We need to purchase colored books that have large letters and images to read to our kids. Remember that toddlers have a very short attention time span, and so we need to hold their attention as much as we can. And brightly colored books can do the trick, even for a couple of minutes. It is vital that we read stories to our toddlers, and point out the animals or fruits or images that we are saying. This will help them develop their cognitive skills.
This is a playtime that involves two-way communication between us and our toddlers. For example, we can get a ball and show it to our children, and say the “ball”, clearly indicating the ball in our hand. Then we roll the ball to our toddlers and ask them to roll the ball back to us. Repeating this process will help our little humans decide that what we are playing with is a ball, and they may say it out loud to test the word. Aside from learning a new word, the reciprocal game can also teach our kids how to be sociable with others.
We should make it a point to repeat words to our toddlers on a daily basis, paired with actions or objects. When we bathe them, let us say bubbles over and over, and while saying it let us show them the bubbles. This is an excellent method to help our children associate words with objects. Repeating words daily like water, bath, shirt, ball, food, and others can help our toddlers with their vocabulary development.
Pair words with sounds
Our endearing toddlers love to imitate sounds. It is helpful if we can say words and pair them with sounds. This is especially great for animal photos. We can show images of animals, say what the animals are, and make the sound of the animals. This is an exceptional way to help our children associate an image with a word and sound.
One thing that is crucial for us parents to understand is that our toddlers are not capable of understanding their mistakes. We must never angrily reprimand our young children when they fail to say the words we want them to say. Let us never be disappointed when our children cannot talk sentences yet. They have stages to go through, and we must always remember that. Let us love them and allow them to grow naturally in their own way.