The Top 7 Language Development Activities for Toddlers
Studies have shown that the earlier children are exposed to reading and spoken language, the stronger their vocabulary and grammar will become. That’s why it's so crucial for parents to practice language development activities with their children regularly.
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your little one’s language development, below is a list of fun and simple activities you can do with your child!
Read picture books to your child
Kids are more likely to excel at reading when their parents spend time reading books to them from an early age. It is never too early to start reading books to your little one. Start with picture books that have large and repetitive text, and those that include fun wordplay. As children get older, they will become exposed to books with longer text. You can also cultivate children’s love for books by taking them to storytime events at a local library or bookstore.
During reading time together, engage young children in discussions about what they can see on each page.
You can help to enrich your child’s imagination and teach language skills simultaneously by playing make-believe together. Make it more exciting by incorporating props and costumes. Act out different scenes involving many characters. Introduce terms relating to each scenario. For example, if you pretend to be in a magical world, use words like wizard, witch, wand, spell, sorcerer, and other words related to that topic.
Playing make-believe provides excellent reinforcement of new skills because it’s such a fun activity. Associating actions with words will enable your toddler to recall them in the future.
Adding words to those which children already know is a great way to build up their language skills.
Using flashcards, write down the nouns and verbs that your child already knows. Then write a variety of adverbs and adjectives. Create a word chain by combining a noun or a verb flashcard with the proper adjective and adverb flashcard. For example, take the word “bottle”. You can add words like ”full”, ”empty”, ”clear”, ”red”, ”hard”, and many more to create a word chain.
You can also play this type of game with your kids in everyday situations. For example, if you see a bird, you can say "yellow bird" or "noisy bird."
Storytelling is among the excellent language development activities that can expand your toddler’s vocabulary and let their imaginations soar. It's fun to do with the entire family. Create stories together with your child. Invent characters and conflicts. Then decide on a happy ending. Another way to play is to have family members sit down in a circle and play a group story game. One person starts, and then each family member adds a line to keep the story moving forward.
If you look at all of the items in your home, you already have plenty of words to teach to your child.
The labeling game is a simple activity that helps your toddler become familiar with the names for each item in your home. On a piece of paper, write down the names of random objects in your home. They can be kitchen items, toys, pieces of clothing, furniture, and appliances. Instruct your child to place the piece of paper on or near the item. Bit by bit, you can start adding adjectives that best describe each one. Have children say these words aloud and encourage them to think of adjectives that can accurately describe each item.
Limit the use of TV and electronic gadgets
Although there are beneficial educational shows on TV and YouTube, the communication contained on these platforms only goes one way. Interaction and response are necessary in order to make language learning effective. These acts are crucial to language development.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children’s TV time should be limited to no more than two hours per day.
Sing songs together
Songs are another great way to teach your child new words. To help make new vocabulary stick, you can also incorporate dance moves and actions related to each word you want to teach. For example, while singing the line "...because it bit my finger so..." you can use one hand to act out a biting action.
Here at Mrs. Myers' Reading Room, we organize and implement different language development activities for toddlers. Call us today for more information!