Easy ways you can begin boosting your child's speech development today.
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19 Easy Ways to Boost Your Child’s Speech Development

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If you have kids, chances are you’ve probably worried at some point about your child’s speech development.

Is my kid on track with his speech development? Isn’t she supposed to be saying more by now? 

It seems we spend so much time worrying about getting them to talk, and then wishing for a few minutes of quiet once they’ve got it down!

If you’re still in the phase of having little ones, I’ve put together a list of ideas that you can easily implement today to help boost your child’s speech development.

I’ve personally practiced all of these with my little girl since her birth.

I hope you find a few tips to throw into your daily routine!

Special Note: I’m not a child development specialist, speech pathologist, or anything like that. I’m just a mom who has a very talkative little girl, and these have been my observations.

Use these easy and actionable tips to start boosting your child's speech development today.

Easy Ways to Boost Your Child’s Speech Development

1) Ask Questions

“What do you see?”

“What color is that heart?”

“How many crackers do you have?”

“Where’s Daddy?”

When they’re very young, your questions will be one-sided of course, but hearing questions and then hearing the answer will teach children the process of asking questions to get information.

As they get a little older, allow them time to respond to you. Adjust your questions to fit their age, personality, and environment.

2) Point Things Out

I think most little ones like being held and carried around, so while doing that try pointing out different things that you see.

Talk about the colors, shapes, and objects that you see.

Tell your child about the people around them.

You can also do this while you’re on a walk with your child in the baby carrier or stroller, while you’re shopping at the grocery store, and while reading books.

Show them things you don’t think they’ll notice on their own.

Remember, our children are exploring this world with a flashlight, so help them expand that beam a little bit.

3) Explain and Describe Everything

Even though explaining how a helicopter works to an infant is far above their capacity to understand, they are still soaking in your words and experiencing that bond with you.

Kids are total sponges, and while the information itself may not stick, you’re teaching them so much more than what you’re talking about.

You’re teaching grammar, syntax, rhythm, and tone.

Explain everything you see. Tell them what it is, how it works, and why it’s so amazing (even if it’s just mundane to you).

4) Use Big Words

Delicious.

Humongous.

Acceptable.

Bust out the big words, mama!

Kids can learn anything we teach them, so why not go all in?

Adults don’t give children enough credit when it comes to what we think they can understand.

I love it when my two-year-old tells me, “This dinner is delicious!” 

5) Read to Them Every Single Day

I can’t praise reading enough when it comes to speech development for children.

It is so so important!!

Read to your littles! Use funny voices, show excitement, point out elements of the pictures, make up your own stories for the pictures… anything! 

I adore reading actual stories to my kiddos (bonus points if they rhyme), and my husband prefers the look-and-find type books. There are so many learning opportunities with both!

Here are a few of our favorites:

Fun and easy ways to boost your child's speech development.

6) Engage Them

A lot of parents tend to talk “at” their kids or read “at” them.

Instead, try communicating with them. Even the littlest ones will respond with coos and smiles.

Let them start directing story time a bit once they get a little older. My daughter loves “reading” stories to her little sister and pointing out things that she finds interesting about the pictures.

Act as if you’re in a conversation. This helps them learn the give and take of speaking with someone.

7) Practice Words

Practice them every day in all sorts of different situations.

Talk about colors, numbers, shapes, people, characters, animals.

Kids learn through repetition so repeat words to your kiddos every day! It won’t be long before they catch on.

Even if they aren’t able to actually say the words yet, their level of understanding will grow quickly.

8) Describe Your Actions

We’ve all had those moments where the baby is next to us while we wash dishes or fold laundry.

Instead of watching TV or being silent, try describing what you’re doing.

“I’m folding the laundry. Look, I’m folding pants. Pants keep your legs warm. You’re wearing pants! Aren’t we so lucky to have pants?”

“I’m washing dishes! When we eat dinner we use plates and forks and cups. Then Mommy gets to wash them to make them clean. Then we get to use them again tomorrow! Soon you’ll get to use plates! You’ll get your own special, big girl plates!”

“I love when you keep me company while I get ready to go to the store. I’m putting makeup on my face. Now I’m brushing my hair so it won’t be tangled. I’m so glad you’re coming to the store with me!”

9) Listen

“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” -Catherine M. Wallace

Let them tell you stories. Give them time to answer the question. Wait for the response.

Listen.

When the majority of the story is baby babble, try to find the word or two you understand and ask them about it.

“I heard you say kitty. Tell me more about the kitty! Did you see a kitty today? Was it orange?”

10) Sing

Sing to them and with them. Use hand gestures. Dance and be silly!

Singing little rhymes and using the hand gestures teaches rhythm, rhyming, and nonverbal communication.

Some of our favorites are:

  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Jesus Loves Me
  • ABC’s (with sign language letters)

Want to learn how to boost your child's speech development? These easy tips will help you get started today.

11) Count Everything

Opportunities to count are endless. Each time you count with your little, you’re reinforcing the words themselves, as well as laying the most basic foundation for their mathematical future.

12) Tell Them Stories

My daughter’s favorite part of the day is right before she falls asleep while her daddy tells her stories of gorillas, giraffes, magic stones, and lost kitty cats.

Your child doesn’t care what story you tell, they just want your undivided attention for a few minutes.

If you don’t know where to start, think about the things that interest your child the most and adapt it to a story you already know.

13) Name Body Parts

Talk to them about different parts of their face and body, and try to use correct terms (obviously use your judgment if you have a problem with your little one knowing all the correct terms).

While playing, show them body parts on their toys and talk about them.

“Your baby doll has eyes! Where are the eyes? Can you show me her eyes? Where are your eyes? Where are my eyes?”

14) Use Correct Terms

You can teach your kids that cats are “mew-mews”, OR you can just teach them that they’re called “cats” or “kittens” or even “kitty cats.”

Your kid is smart. Let them learn from you.

Because it’s really cool when your kid busts out the word “helicopter” before their 2nd birthday.

15) Include Them in Conversations

When you’re having dinner with your spouse, try speaking with your child, too. Ask them questions. Praise how well they’re eating. Be silly with them!

Some of our favorite mealtime questions are along these lines:

  • What did you think about _____?
  • Did you have fun at _____?
  • Are you excited about _____?
  • Tell me more about _____!

Easy tips to start boosting your child's speech development today.

16) Avoid Baby Talk

If you speak to your child incorrectly, they will learn to speak incorrectly. They can only learn what they are exposed to.

Avoid using lisps or replacing sounds (“w” sound instead of “r” sound – example: “thwee” instead of “three”). This does not help your child learn to speak.

*Special note* – By all means continue to use varying degrees of inflection in your voice! Babies learn so much when we speak with variation in our voices!

17) Use Nonverbal Communication

Babies love facial expressions, so get out your silly faces!

Facial expressions, body language, and hand gestures teach your child how to communicate nonverbally, which is such an important and vital skill that only enriches their speech development.

18) Positively Reinforce

Praise and respond to your child’s sounds and speech.

When you hear words you understand, repeat them back to your child and ask about them to tell you more about that word.

When they say something really well, let them know! “Wow! You said ‘caterpillar’ really well!”

19) Play with Sounds

Learning about animal sounds helps your child develop the ability to make certain letter sounds, which in turn, contributes to their speech.

Mimic sounds that your child hears daily in their environment.

Exaggerate sounds that you both hear.

“‘Honk honk,’ says the truck!”

“The cow says, ‘Moooooo!'”

“Did you hear the microwave? Beep Beep Beep!”

Boost your child's speech development by implementing these tips today.

Practice Makes Playtime into Learning Time

It’s about practice and exposure, involvement and fun.

Make some special time each day to put your phone away and focus 100% on your child.

The baby years are not all about turning your child into an advanced robot.

Just play with them. 

Be that mom – the one who talks with her baby often.

Your little one will learn in time.

(Special note – This post is in no way passing judgment if your child is not speaking yet. If you have concerns, please talk to your pediatrician. Again, I am not a specialist. I’m just a mom with a few ideas.)

What are your favorite ways to boost your child’s speech? Let me know in the comments below!

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