Helping your baby talk
The first three years in a child’s life are the most intensive for speech and language development. Children develop best in a world that is rich with sounds, sights and consistent exposure to the speech and language of others. Here are five great ways to get started.
- Talk to your child. Talk as you bathe, feed and dress your child. Talk about what you are doing, where you are going, what you will do when you arrive, and who and what you will see. Acknowledge, encourage and praise all attempts to speak.
- Sing simple songs. Sing simple songs and recite nursery rhymes to encourage rhythm and pattern of speech. All good nurseries will have a wealth of nursery rhymes and songs they can share with you!
- Use photographs. Use photographs of familiar people and places, and retell what happened or make up a new story. Babies love to look at faces and will very quickly learn to recognise people in photos.
- Ask questions. Ask questions that require a choice. “Would you like an apple or an orange?” “Do you want to wear your red or blue shirt?”
- Read to your child. Reading can be as simple as describing the pictures in a book without following the written words. Choose books that are sturdy and have large colourful pictures that are not too detailed. Ask your child “What’s this?” and encourage naming and pointing to familiar objects in the book.
Many of our nurseries run communication workshops, so please speak to your nursery manager for more details.