Time to talk with you every day is really all our babies, toddlers and children need to be able to learn to talk themselves. Yet today I met, again, in a little nursery class, some two and half years olds, more than half the class, who couldn’t have a simple conversation with me, couldn’t answer simple questions such as, would you like milk or water or what would you like to play with - they had to point to show me.
This really made me feel so very sad - without language skills, without words how will they learn, how will they make friends?
I played with one little boy today, we just made balls with the play dough - I said ‘big ball’ as I made it with him and he copied me. He pointed to show me he wanted to make another one so I said ‘more ball’ and he said ‘more ball’. After just ten minutes of playing he was saying ‘big ball’ and ‘more ball’ every two minutes - it was wonderful! But it did make me think, if I can do this in a few minutes at nursery what is someone NOT doing at home! Talk is free, it’s fun and to see their smile is amazing, to know you have taught them simple words is a thrill, so please, please, please talk, talk, talk!
Quick tip, talk slower, give your little one time to understand.
Quick tip, use shorter sentences and repeat them.
Quick tip, talk to your child face to face.
Quick tip, listen to what your baby, toddler or child is saying and answer them.
Quick tip, limit the tv and screen time - half an hour is enough each day!
Quick tip, put your phone away!
Long tip, lots of babies, toddlers and children love animals and animal books but please use their proper names, one little girl today, who was nearly three, thought the sheep were called ‘baa baa’s’ and the cows ‘moo moo’s!
Long tip, read short stories throughout the day, sing rhymes when you are in the car, on the bus, name usual household objects and show your baby, toddler or child what you are talking about, pink skirt, blue vest, big teddy, nappy etc etc.
Long tip, play together, play together, play together, play together, play together, play together, play together !!!!!!!
Long tip, watch this video clip - it takes 1 minute and 42 seconds (!) and shows you just how important your talking is… go to You Tube and type in ‘Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry’ it’s by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University IF you want to be shocked - if you really want to see how your baby or toddler feels when you don’t talk, watch this one too … ‘Still Face Experiment: Dr. Edward Tronick’ (only 2 minutes and 49 seconds and again it’s on You Tube). Or if you have a little bit more time check out Talking Point at ican.org.uk which is full of information, a language milestone checker and lots of tips too.
And to finish, here are the language milestones, but do remember if you have any concerns do ask your Teacher, Sure Start, Health Visitor, Family Nurse Partnership or Doctor.
At six months old I can gurgle and coo, I make lots of sounds when I’m talked to.
By one year I can say to you, ‘Ma-ma’, ‘ba-ba’ and ‘Da-da’ too.
I understand words like ‘bye’, ‘ball’ and ‘book’, I can even point to get you to look.
At eighteen months I have lots more to say, but only in a babyish way!
I can point to things when you ask, when you name things for me I can learn so fast!
At two years old 50 words I can say, I put two or three together every day.
I can understand many more though, and the more you talk to me, the more I will know.
By three years old 300 words I can say, I use them to chat to you, talk, sing and play.
I can understand words like ‘what?’, ’where?’ and ‘who?’ and love to talk every day with you!
At four years old I’m a talker like you, explaining, discussing and counting too.
I can use my talking to play and to say, ‘I love you lots and lots today’!
Written by, on Facebook, Me & You @meandyoubyjenni to support the Greater Shantallow Talking To Our Babies, Greater Shantallow Area Partnership. Telephone 028 71358787 / Facebook; Talking To Our Babies / www.shantallow.net
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