Language and communication skills are critical to a childâ€™s development. As we all are well aware that 90 % of the brain development happens during the first 2000 days ie first five years of the childâ€™s life; during this period every experience (physical, emotional, social) that the child goes through helps in stimulation of language development (resulting in formation of both expressive and receptions functions). When there is no proper stimulation during this time, it could result in a child making slower progress in language skills and can result in weak communication skills.
Things parents can do to stimulate language development in toddlers and pre-schoolers:
- Respond to your totâ€™s vocalizations.
- Talk to your baby using sign language.
- Name things while they see the things you point.
- Use exaggerated voice when you describe things. Your tone should also express the feeling with which you are talking.
- Foster your child by singing rhymes and jingles. The rhythm, repetition and rhyme play an essential role in developing phonological awareness.
- Use melodies to communicate things like â€˜time to wake upâ€™ â€˜we are back to homeâ€™ â€˜letâ€™s go to schoolâ€™ etc.
- Read story books. This will help your child become familiar with sounds, words and language.
- Initiate conversations with your child while he watches an episode. Relate the episode events to his/her activities.
- Make up your own stories along with your child. Telling stories and singing songs also help your child develop early literacy skills and it sparks your childâ€™s imagination. Make sure it is interactive.
- Gradually introduce more vocabulary to your childâ€™s communication.
- Always give expanded information about things they see and how they feel. Give a broader picture of every small thing around.
- Ask your child to describe/explain things to you. Ask questions to trigger their curiosity.