5 Fun Activities to Boost Your Child's Speech Development
July 27, 2023
Child speech development is crucial for essential communication skills. As your child grows, they begin to hit various milestones, such as early babbling during infancy, combining two words together around the one-year mark, and beginning to understand and use proper grammar at four years.
Milestones are an important way to monitor your child's language development so you can identify areas you may need to work on. Keep reading to learn more about what to watch for, as well as some enjoyable ways to help your child's speech and language development.
Speech Development Milestones
Learning about child speech development stages helps you to keep track of your child's progress and understand when interventions are a good idea.
While every child is different and meeting milestones at a later age is not indicative of a problem on its own, familiarizing yourself with the guidelines for development based on age gives you a frame of reference.
Speech development milestones and their typical timelines include the following:
Cooing and Babbling (0-6 months): Your child begins to make noise when addressed and vocalize their happiness and displeasure with a variety of sounds.
First Words and Gestures (6-12 months): Children typically start to say a few words like "ma-ma" or "da-da" and use gestures to communicate.
Two-Word Utterances (12-18 months): At this age, children begin to imitate words and say two-to-three-word labels about familiar people and objects.
Vocabulary Growth (18-24 months): Vocabulary grows to a collection of about 50 words, although pronunciation is not always clear. Children also start to use pronouns and word combinations.
Sentence Complexity (24-36 months): Children at this age start to use longer sentences of about three words, complete with pronouns and descriptive words.
Conversational Skills (36-48 months): Many kids can use most sounds required in speech, but the more difficult ones are often still distorted. They now express more about their own feelings, answer simple questions, and repeat sentences. Much of their speech is clear enough for strangers to understand.
Grammar and Syntax (48-60 months): Sentence structure improves and use of some irregular past tense verbs begins. Children can list similar items, understand spatial concepts, describe how-to actions, and answer "why" questions.
Narrative Skills (60+ months): At five years, children begin to engage in conversation with others using complex sentences of eight or more words.
If you are ever concerned that your child's speech development is delayed, speak to your healthcare provider for advice. You can also incorporate some fun activities into your day to help your child improve more quickly.
5 Fun Activities to Boost Your Child's Speech Development
Make learning more interesting by using a variety of fun activities and games to improve speech development. Keeping your child engaged is necessary to prevent frustration and help them overcome any difficulties.
Take advantage of everyday opportunities to incorporate development exercises. Set aside time to read to your child, sing a song, or invite your child to use their language skills to tell stories using their imagination.
1. Singing with Your Child
Singing with your child provides a fun and light-hearted way to practice their speech. Words alone are powerful but incorporating rhythm into a child's speech development practice can make it so that they don't even notice they are practicing. Some simple suggestions to include singing into your everyday routine are:
Singing their favorite song
Showing them new music
Using music from their favorite show
Singing is also an amazing way to soothe distress and shift everyone into a brighter mood. Try being silly when you sing, pause to allow your child to fill in missing words, and repeat favorite songs.
2. Read to Your Child
Reading to your child is one of the easiest ways to practice speaking sounds and learn letter recognition. It helps them to learn important information, become aware of their feelings, and build empathy. Alphapals are amazing speech development tools. Try using a set of these plush letters to give your child an interactive and sensory experience that helps them understand sounds, letters, and how letters group together to form words.
3. Nursery Rhymes and Tongue Twisters
Assist your child with building strong phonological awareness and better pronunciation by using funny and silly nursery rhymes. They are a great way to help toddlers with memorization, communication, and articulation. Some favorites to try include:
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Incy Wincy Spider
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
The Wheels on the Bus
Make it more fun by choosing an Alphapals letter and asking your child to recite a rhyme beginning with that letter. Or, use the letters to represent various characters and take turns saying each associated part. Incorporating both visual and touch elements can help to reinforce the message and make language development come more easily.
4. Language Play and Creativity
Role-playing and being creative when doing so can encourage verbal expression for a child, making it an ideal activity for developing language skills. Ask your child open-ended questions and encourage them to use their creativity to tell stories and act out scenarios.
Parents can use creative writing exercises to foster imagination and communication with older children. Creative writing gives kids the chance to explore various word choices, sentence structures, and story formats while expanding their understanding of the world.
5. Use Everyday Situations
Implementing a daily routine of talking about your child's day together is a great active listening exercise to focus on language development while boosting your child's confidence by encouraging them to talk about their interests. This type of interaction translates to better communication and comfort in social situations.
Use other everyday situations to model sounds and grammatically correct language. Simply narrating common life events, like teaching turn-taking, are wonderful ways to focus on language and speech development.
Alphapals Impact on Speech Development
Keeping speech development activities fun is the key to getting your child excited about learning and improving their communication skills. By reading together, singing songs, practicing tongue twisters, and using the power of the imagination, you can easily incorporate speech-enhancing activities into everyday life.
Alphapals are a phenomenal language development tool that adapts to any age and skill level. Use the individual letters to teach sound and letter recognition. Sets are great to practice spelling and sentence structure. Check out the selection of Alphapals today to purchase your favorites!