Most children love to play and this is a good thing. Playtime is the best opportunity to learn social skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and it can even be used to improve their language skills.
Speech development is often overlooked by parents as children. Yet, as many as one in fourteen Australian children have a speech development issue.
It’s worth taking the time to complete simple activities with them to improve their speech development. Of course, it’s also essential that you liaise with their early learning centre to ensure they are getting all the support they need.
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It may sound funny, (pun intended), but telling your child jokes allows them to hear the correct pronunciation and gain an understanding of word order.
It also triggers their imagination and, if you can get them to laugh, can help with bonding.
Don’t forget to let your child tell jokes back, they may not be funny and the grammar may not be perfect. But, don’t correct them, you want to encourage them to try.
You can read nursery rhymes to your child to help them understand the flow of words and broaden their vocabulary.
But, you can also make them up and practice getting words that rhyme at the end of sentences.
If you can get your child to do the same they will find it really benefits their speech development.
Word Puzzles & Games
You’ll have to choose the ones that are best for your child’s age. There are plenty of options to choose from, including junior scrabble and Pictionary.
These encourage children to draw pictures matching words, a great way to improve their vocabulary and even practice spelling.
When out and about you can create a points-based game that awards them points every time they spot certain things. Get enough points and they get a prize.
Tongue twisters are fun at any age and your children will be delighted to hear you tripping over your own tongue!
Find some relatively simple ones and practice them with your child. You can even challenge them to say the phrase ten times.
It will help them improve pronunciation, word recognition, and broaden their vocabulary.
A very simple approach that can be done anywhere is to name things. All you have to do is point at something and ask your child to name it.
You can take it in turns and make it more challenging by having to say a word that rhymes with the object afterwards.
For example, point at a cloud and your child may say ‘cloud’, followed by ‘loud’. This is a great way for them to practice how words sound.
In general, you simply need to engage with your child as often as possible. This encourages them to speak more and develop the language skills they need throughout life.
The fact that it is also fun and helps you bond with your child is simply a bonus.