One of the most important developmental milestones is baby’s first word.
Give them more! This is easy, fun and best part, research demonstrates these simple tricks increase baby’s intelligence.
How does it work? One word: Modeling
If you want a baby to talk, then simply talk to baby. The best way to do this is to narrate your day. Channel a sport’s announcer, describing a game to radio listeners, except use simply language.
“This is your bed. Bed. (Touch bed.) Here is your pillow. (Touch pillow.) Your pillow is pink. Your tee shirt is pink. Let’s go in the kitchen. Down the hall we go. This is the hall. Here we are in the kitchen. “
Target concepts that a child leans in kindergarten: basic nouns, colors, numbers, and simple adjectives.
Move around the house, naming each item. Include floors, walls and ceilings. Open drawers, name things. Go outside, name things. “Look at the trees. See the tall tree? Tall tree. Here is a small tree. Small tree.”
Play this game with body parts.
Here are your toes. Here is your foot. Here is my foot. My foot is bigger than your foot. This is your hair. See my hair? Touch my hair.
For instance, pick one color in the room and walk and point to each item. “Here is a blue vase. Your pants are blue. The picture is blue. I have blue shoes. See mommy’s blue shoes. (Point.) Let’s go outside. See the blue sky. The sky is blue. “
Group things under one name, and then go through the individual items. For instance, “Here is our silverware. Fork. (pick up fork.) Spoon. (pick up spoon.) Knife. (Pick up knife.) Knifes are sharp. Knifes cut. Never play with a knife.”
Do this throughout the day. You cannot do it too much. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Your child will demonstrate excellent language skills.
Think of it as introducing the world to your child!
I was babysitting my non-talking nephew (aged 18 months, which is a little late but expressive language isn’t as important as comprehension.) We went to a playground and instead of simply following him around keeping him safe I began talking to him.
“Andrew, look at the red slide.” , “Look at the little girl. She’s wearing a pink dress . She is going down the slide “, “Feel the green grass”, “Doesn’t that feel good?” ,“We can lie down on the green grass” ,“Look at the bird in the blue sky”
You get the point. Basically, in a matter of a couple minutes, I had 4 other toddlers following me around listening and participating. Babies are desperate for language. Their little brains are thirsty for language! Give it up. After love, this is your number one job as the parent of a toddler
You can do this anywhere, anytime, but one great time is while you are cooking. There are so many basic actions, items, and colors you can describe while cooking. You can also include child participation by letting them crack an egg, stir something, pick a tomato out, etc. No one is too young to help. Be sure to use full physical prompting. Hold your child in one arm and put the egg in their hand, your hand over their hand and crack the egg. Act like they did something amazing afterwards. This helps with compliance later on.
As your child soaks up language, start asking them to point to items. “Point to the chair.” If they are unable too, take their hand and point to the right item. This is called errorless learning. Always praise after. Even if they start to point to the wrong thing, take their hand and move it to the right area and act amazed.
Be creative. Go to the supermarket , store or mall. Walk around describing items, the colors, and what they are used for, possible modeling what they are used for, etc… This is not only free but your child will learn a lot and love it.
By Dr. Jaime Flowers of Parenting Made Easy.