Try some of these tips on your next visit to the park.
- Keep your baby/toddler rearward facing for as long as you can. This will help them see your mouth and facial expressions as you talk about what you see. They’ll also be able to see you point at things. Children need to pair language with the real experience before they can understand it.
- Label all the sounds your child hears……children laughing, the birds singing or the dogs barking. One of the foundation blocks for the development of speech and language skills is the ability to detect sound and attach meaning. Children need to understand sounds in their environment before they can understand the complex sounds of speech and language.
- Use a variety of words to broaden your child’s vocabulary:
- Swing, slide, bench, buggy, dog, boy, girl, trees, grass, flowers.
- Action words
- Swinging, walking, running, barking, laughing, eating, drinking, pushing.
- Describing words
- Big/ small, hot/cold, high/low, up/down, colours.
- Location words
- In, on, under, next to.
- If your child is beginning to develop phrases, here is an example of some phrases to model:
- Up the slide/ down the slide
- Push the swing
- The dog is barking
- The boy is running
- I want the swing please
- When your child is on the swing, pause for a brief moment and encourage them to ask for more. If your child is not speaking yet, they may request more by looking at you, smiling or by making a sound. If your child is beginning to use language, encourage them to use words and phrases e.g. ‘more’, ‘more swinging please’ etc.