Activities to promote speech and language development

Sam Schreiner

Many parents wonder what they can do with their children at home to make sure they are doing all they can to help their child reach their speech and language developmental goals.  Playing toys with your children and having them play with other children can help. Here are some simple age appropriate activities parents can incorporate into their daily activities to help encourage speech and language development. 

Speech and language development can start in infants. Activities for this age group are very simple to incorporate into your day. All you have to do is respond to your babies babbling, talk to them, sings songs, tell nursery rhymes, and even read colorful books. 

For children one to two years of age parents should narrate what they and their child are doing. A great time to do this is when you and your child are playing with toys. It is important during this age group to remember when you are talking to your child that you look at them, talk simply, clearly, and slowly. 

When children reach 3-5 years of age, you should start giving them simple instructions to follow by playing games or giving them simple tasks to complete like “pick up the ball” or “get your shoes.” A fun thing to do is make an “oops” in front of your child! Forget an important step in a daily routine such as getting them ready to go outside. Maybe only put one shoe on your child and see if they correct you. During this age group, you will want to start giving your child some independence. To help build independence start giving them options and allow them to make choices on their own. Encourage them to play with others without you having to be by their side. When children interact with others their age they will learn social skills, learn to identify and manage their emotions, and also help build their vocabulary. 

Sam Schreiner is a speech-language pathology assistant with OSPTI.

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