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10 Tips & Games To Foster Your Toddler’s Speech Development

Lately, Abby’s vocabulary has been developing at lightening speed. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that I understand everything she has to say. Although, truth be told, I can de-code her like no other.

I gave up comparing the development of her speech to that of her brother’s, or any other child’s for that matter, a long time ago. I suppose her father and I both assumed that given how much we love literature (I literally dreamed about all of the books that I would stock up their library with over the years, while they were still in utero), that she would become a little lover of the word herself.

A chatterbox like me, her mama. Abby didn’t have an automatic adoration for books. She rounds out her vowels at a slower pace than her brother did, and only until recently did she become a book hoarder. Which doesn’t mean a darned thing. What does matter is how we’ve incorporated vocabulary developing activities and games for her into every day play to foster and encourage her love of letters, books, and words.

It’s exciting to hear your toddler speak and come up with funny terms of expression and cute ways of saying things or pronouncing things. I gobbled up every minute of it when Wyndham was learning to talk and much of the same heart bursting occurs whenever Abby completes a full sentence or says something hilarious, unbeknownst to her. It just doesn’t get old. I’d have to say this is one of my favourite stages of early childhood development. And that’s why I think it’s so important to help guide them along at this important stage of the game.

Click through for 10 Tips & Games To Boost Your Toddlers Speech Development:

  • Boost & Praise 1 of 11
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    Click through to see them all!

  • Stop The Baby Talk 2 of 11
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    I never really did this with mine, and I'll admit to cringing when I hear other parents doing it with their toddlers. Letting your toddler hear the proper pronunciation is so important to their learning. Seems pretty obvious, right?

  • Build a Fort, Get Under The Table! 3 of 11
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    This silly game is perfect for 2-4 year olds.

    Visit Playing With Words to find out what it's all about.

  • Narrate 4 of 11
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    Reading books to and with your kids is the obvious part. Playing games and asking questions revolving around the stories that you read to together is a good way to open up dialogue with them and get them talking. 
    Check out the simple and sweet storytelling game via Playing With Words 365

  • Be Adventurous 5 of 11
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    You know, as far as being adventurous goes in a toddler's world. I'm talking about going on lots of outings while pointing, talking about, and describing everything you see. Everything you encounter. Asking them less questions and engaging them in more conversation about their environment and what's going on around them. Ask how they see things. Talk to yourself (self-talk), and your partner a lot. Repeat yourself often. Not necessarily to them, but to yourself and whomever you are with.
    Read more about how to help your child talk via Playing With Words 365

  • Visit The Library Reguarly 6 of 11
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    This is a wonderful environment to do any and all of the aforementioned with ease. Naturally! We go to our local library bi-weekly and the kids absolutely adore it, no arm twisting going on in the least. 

  • Slow Down, Get Down & Repeat 7 of 11
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    The top 3 best things that you can do to boost your toddler's development. Slowing down your own speech and physically getting down on their level to patiently listen to them when they speak? It's the key.
    More info on Playing with Words

  • Play I Spy 8 of 11
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    We enjoy this game in the car on road trips, or when we're on walks, or out in other nature-rich environments where there are lots of new things to point at and incorporate into the game. A great activity that you can keep in mind for doing later, is to use found objects from your time out in nature to start scrap booking. Include familiar pictures of friends and family in the process. Cut out pictures from magazines of favourite and familiar things.
    Learn more about Scrapbooking To Promote Speech Development via The American Speech & Language Development Organization


    Click here for 4 more playful ways to work on listening skills!

  • All Ears 9 of 11
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    Listening. Really listening to them with patience is crucial. It shows them that you're really interested in what they have to say and their independence grows as they don't feel hurried or rushed to communicate and express themselves.
    More info on Playing with Words

  • Sing With Them 10 of 11
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    I've spoken before about the benefits of introducing young children to music. Wyndham has recently gotten into singing rhymes—thanks to his dad. It amazes me how much he remembers and how quickly he grasped onto rhyming all on his own. A really organic and natural way to help boost their vocabulary.

  • Plant a Seed 11 of 11
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    It's not too late to grow plants and do some gardening with your little ones. This was our first time starting our own vegetable garden from seed and the kids helped us every step of the way. From reading seed packets aloud, to planting their own seeds in clear cups to watch the growth of the plants. Setting up their environment with an ongoing activity like this facilitates expansive conversation, rich in new vocabulary. Remember to offer them lots of praise for all of their hard work in the garden! You can grow seeds all year long indoors with your little ones. Sunflower seeds are a favourite around here as they are big, easy, and grow quickly. Little ones get a kick out it!

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More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

Elsewhere on the internets…

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

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