Language is a very important tool in communication and without communication and the ability to listen well, a child may feel isolated from the world around them and cannot function optimally in school or in everyday life. It is surprisingly easy to stimulate language and listening skills during daily routines and some guidelines include:
- Talking to your child about everything – they understand more than they can say sometimes.
- Making eye contact with him/her and showing interest in what he/she has to say.
- Children learn by listening to or hearing others’ speech and to use speech creatively in one’s own home can have a great impact.
- Take your child on excursions and continuously expose them to new concepts and experiences.
- Incorporate the senses when teaching your child a new word, let them see the object, smell it, taste it and feel it.
- Include your child in everyday routines and activities at home such as cooking. Explain to him/her why you do something and how it’s done.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your child lots of questions, specifically “wh”-questions (what, where, who, why) and encourage descriptive answers.
- Reading to your child can be very meaningful and helps them pick up language very quickly. Ask questions that are related to the story and make story time an important and enjoyable experience.
Quality time with one another is one of the most valuable resources of language development!