At Intensive Therapy for Kids, we believe in providing valuable insights and resources to help parents and caregivers support their children’s growth and development. Today, we are excited to introduce a guest post by the esteemed NAPA Center team of pediatric speech pathologists about effective language activities for preschoolers you can do today. Their expertise in speech therapy has made them a trusted authority in the field, and they are here to share their knowledge on enhancing language development in toddlers and preschoolers. Here are five language activities for preschoolers and toddlers to encourage speech and language development.
5 Simple Speech and Language Activities for Preschoolers
1. Building Blocks
Building towers and similar structures isn’t just a fun game; it provides ample opportunity to work on language skills. You can introduce adjectives like “higher” and “up,” verbs such as “build” and “fall down,” as well as numbers and colors. As each block is added, take the time to explain to your child what is happening and ensure he or she uses the corresponding words to describe the action. Find more speech therapy toys we love here!
2. Role Play
Most children enjoy playing dress-up games – role play will allow your child to explore his or her imagination without any restrictions. You can introduce new words and help build your child’s language skills when introducing different characters to the game. If there are specific words or concepts you’ve been instructed to teach by your child’s therapist, create characters that allow you to work them in naturally.
3. Talk Your Way Through The Day
Since the goal is to have a child who can communicate with others using a wide and varied vocabulary, practicing throughout the day in various situations makes sense. Point out things you see, hear, taste, and smell, and allow your child to respond and comprehend what you are saying. Talk about produce and products at the grocery store, what others do as you drive by them, different businesses and buildings, and objects around your house. Just remember to keep it simple and avoid “baby talk.”
4. Listen to Music
Listening to music with your child is an effective activity to encourage language development. Music has a beat and focuses on intonation, which can help with syllable awareness and other aspects of verbal communication. For some songs, you can also use accompanying books to follow along and point to pictures or act out the lyrics from the song, which will create links for your child between actions and words.
5. Explore Books Together
It’s no secret that children love being told stories – you can use books to help develop language skills from an early age. Whether the books have pictures or not, focus on language and build associations in your child’s mind to help develop his or her language. Feel free to stop and discuss what’s happening as often as necessary, and always give your child the chance to talk about the story once the book is finished.
If you can incorporate these language development activities into your child’s routine, you can make progress without making it feel like a chore — for you or your child!
Providing Help For Children Experiencing Speech Delays
Many children with diagnoses such as autism, cerebral palsy, TBI, and Down syndrome often experience delays or deficits in language development. Delays in language development make it more difficult for children to communicate with family members, teachers, and therapists resulting in frustration, potential delays in social development, and difficulties in academic settings.
If your child has trouble learning new words, has problems stringing words together in sentences, or has consistent trouble getting the message across verbally, there are things you can do to help. Recognizing and treating language delays as early as possible will allow your child to communicate effectively and set the stage for greater independence in the future.
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