Tag Archive | "language development"

How To Get Your Toddler Talking

Toddlers do not pick up verbal skills at the same time. Some love making conversations while others do not talk very much. If your toddler belongs to the latter, here are some tips to help you get your toddler talking.


Spend plenty of time talking to your toddler. If your toddler says “ball”, give him the ball and say “Yes, this is a ball. A big, red, bouncy ball.”. This is called language expansion which helps your child learn more words. The more words he knows, the more motivated your toddler will talk. Describe what you are doing while you fix him a meal or give him a bath. Keep your sentences brief and simple. Talk slowly and clearly. Ask your little one simple questions such as “Do you want some milk?” or “What do you want for dinner?”. Every night before bed, ask him to rehash his day – what he did, who he was with, where he went and so on. Do not worry if your toddler still stutters while he speaks, this exercise will help him become a word expert sooner or later.


Do not just talk, but listen to your toddler. Research shows that it is important to let children have the floor. Listening and attention gives reassurance. So every time your toddler tries to talk to you whether he is babbling, singing or engaging in sound play, pause for a moment, face your toddler and listen to what he has to say.


Read to your toddler every day. This activity is the most effective way to teach your little one new words and proper sentence structure. Go for pop-up books, touch and feel books and other short books filled with colorful illustrations to capture his attention. If he cannot sit through reading a whole book, focus more on describing the pictures rather than reading every word.

Or, once you start reading the story, pause occasionally and ask him to fill in the blanks. Have him repeat after you so he can work on the pronunciation of new words. Better yet, ask him to come up with his own ending of his favorite bedtime story.

Play Word Games

Play word games with your toddler. After you sing a song, ask him to slowly repeat the lyrics with you so he can hear each word clearly. Play “I Spy” whenever you and your toddler are out of the house. Point out fascinating things you see such as “I spy a big blue truck.”. Give your toddler a toy telephone to get him talking. Pretend to talk to grandma and then give the telephone to your toddler and encourage him to gab away.

Encourage Social Interaction

Toddlers are encouraged to talk more when they are with children their age. Plan a play date with your friend or neighbour’s toddlers. Enroll your little one in a class he is interested in. Put him in a daycare center. Not only will he be able to practice his conversation skills but he will also hone his social skills.

Toddlers love to gab. So do not worry too much if your toddler does not talk as much as his peers. Just keep it casual and do not pressure him. In time, your toddler will badger you with a million questions every minute of the day.

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Stuttering In Children – Causes and Treatments

Stuttering in children is normal, especially those between two and five years old. This happens because they are still learning to talk and construct words. Stuttering is a form of dysfluency – a disruption in the flow of speech. Generally, it does not cause speech problems. But, it is essential for parents to know its causes as well as the treatments available to make sure that the stuttering does not affect the toddler’s self-esteem.



Stuttering can run in families. If you, your husband, your mother or a close family member also stutters or stuttered, then most likely your toddler will acquire it.


A toddler’s childhood can greatly affect his development. Stammering can be caused by stressful events such as divorce, welcoming a new baby, moving to a new house, starting preschool or death.

Speech Problems

Another cause of stammering is speech and language problems. Young children may stumble over their words because their brains have a different way of processing words which results to a problem with the way the brain’s messages interact with the muscles and body parts necessary for talking.

Family Dynamics

Although not yet proven, it is commonly believed that stuttering is attributed to high family expectations and a fast-paced lifestyle.


Create Opportunities For Talking

Most often, toddlers stutter because they are excited, angry or scared. Wait for your toddler to calm down and then engage him in conversations without distractions (no TV, computer, etc.). For example, you can talk with your little one during dinner, when giving him a bath or before tucking him to bed. Pleasant, stress-free conversations will help your toddler process his words better.

Do Not Be Too Critical

Pressuring your toddler with his speech will only make it worse. Avoid teasing, reacting pessimistically, correcting him or finishing his sentences every time your little one stutters. Instead, repeat the sentence fluently yourself so that he knows you understand him and hear how it is supposed to sound.

Speak Slowly

Each time you talk to your toddler, keep a calm, pleasant expression on your face, smile and then speak slowly and clearly. This will help him mimic your speech pattern, basically teaching him fluency and to slow down his own speech.

Do Fun Activities Together

Have fun together. Do enjoyable activities that focus on speech. Play charades. Build blocks. Read books. Role play. Sing a song. Your child may feel a little insecure because he is not able to talk straight. Thus, making him feel loved will give him reassurance that nothing is wrong with him, which is a very good confidence booster.

Speech Therapy

If you feel your toddler is a true stutterer (repetition of words become excessive, vocal tension, has facial and body movements along with the stammering and refuses to talk for fear of stuttering), it is best to talk to a speech therapist. A speech therapy program can help improve your toddler’s language while teaching techniques to stop the anxiety related with the condition.

Watching your toddler stammer is frustrating. But, do keep in mind that this is a normal phase in his speech development and he will outgrow it no time. As long as you are there to support him, everything will be fine.

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How To Raise A Child Who Loves To Read

Reading is the best way to boost a toddler’s language skills. There is no right or wrong time to raise a child who loves to read. The secret to doing this successfully is to keep reading a fun and relaxing activity for your toddler. Here are some tips to help you guide your toddler to become a reader.

Read Aloud

Read out loud to your toddler every day. Studies show that the earlier parents read to their children, the better their language and literacy skills develop. Encourage your toddler to sound out words and to read a sentence as you continue the story. Reading to and with your toddler makes him feel a part of the learning process which makes the story more interactive, and when a child becomes involved and thinks beyond the plot, he will learn to love reading. This activity not only exposes him to books but also serve as a cozy bonding moment with your little one.

Make It A Part of His Daily Routine

Reading has a way of calming people, which is why the bedtime story is a well-loved tradition. But, there are a lot of daily events that also provide good reading opportunities. For instance, you can read a book over breakfast, during bath time, while he is using the potty, after he wakes up from his nap or during his playtime.

Choose Books That Will Interest Your Toddler

Another effective tip to raise a reader is to provide your toddler books that will interest him. Generally, toddlers love board books, pop-up books, rhyming books, fairytales and books with big and bright pictures. Furthermore, expose him to different kinds of reading materials. If your toddler is interested in cars or if he loves to swim, give him graphic novels, magazines, audio books or reference books about cars and swimming.

Create A Comfortable Reading Space

A reading-friendly atmosphere is very important. Create a space where your little one can read comfortably without being disrupted by the TV, his toys and other people. You can place a beanbag, rocking chair or a couch and a good reading lamp close to a bookshelf in a corner.

Visit Libraries and Bookstores

Make a weekly or monthly trip to the library or to a bookstore and let your toddler pick out books he wants to read. He will love being surrounded with shelves and shelves of books and since he is free to choose the books he likes, he is more encouraged to read.

Talk About It

Do not hold a question and answer session about the story of the book. Ask questions that will make your toddler think beyond the plot. For instance, ask him “Which character would you like to befriend?” or “If you were the author, how would you have ended the book?”. Or, you can try relating events in your family to the story you and your little one just read. Encourage him to ask you questions as well.


Children love consistency. Hence, the reason why they want to hear the same story over and over. Once your toddler hears the book repeated a lot, he is able to memorize his favorite words and phrases and point out things in the book he has not noticed before which increases his reading readiness.

Read Yourself

Your toddler loves imitating you. If he sees books around the house and sees you pick up a book, curl up on the sofa during your down time, he will learn that books are essential to daily life. Showing your own love of reading is the most powerful tool to encourage your toddler to read.

Raising your toddler to be a reader is probably one of the best things you can instil in your child. Books are food for the soul, and it is with reading that one’s mind can explore and travel infinitely without spending a cent.

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