5 Tips to Help Kids Start Talking

5 Tips to Help Kids Start Talking

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The day that your baby starts babbling and making noises is so fun.  They sound so cute and I love their little reactions when you play with them, whether it’s peek a boo or just showing them some new toy.  Once the noises start coming, waiting for them to say their first word can seem like forever!

It is so funny when they sound like they want to tell you a whole story and yet, you can’t understand a thing!  Generally, babies are saying a couple words by the time they are 1, 5-10 words by the time they are 15 months and 10 – 20 words by the time they are 18 months.

Peyton took a little longer than the average to start saying words, but now at almost 4, she hardly ever stops!  Meanwhile, Gage is babbling like crazy with close to 10 words under his belt.  He will tell you everything he needs to and not stop, but you can only understand a word or two.  Through my journey with helping the kids talk, I’ve come across a few tips that have helped.

Reading and Singing

Reading to your little one and singing songs with them are great ways to help them learn their words.  Generally at younger ages, you tend to read the same books or sing the same songs, particularly as part of their bedtime routine, so they start to hear the same words over and over again, which can help them learn how to say them.

Label Things

This may make you feel like you sound ridiculous (it did for me at first!), but it really helps your baby to identify items and use the words in the right context.  As you are playing, label each item, such as block, book, toy, train, etc.  In addition, you can label the motion – for example, if you are playing with blocks and putting them on and off, say on and off so that they understand what the motion is.

Play Games

One of the easiest examples of this is peek-a-boo.  Babies and toddlers love this game, whether you play with your hands or an object.  They can learn to do it and repeat it.  Another good one is to talk about animals and what sounds they make.  A lot of these sounds are easier for a baby to make so can encourage them to use their voice more often.  We have also done it when playing outside on the swings.  Just making the sound “whee” as we go!

Give Choices

It may sound a little strange to be giving a one year old choices, but it helps them to learn and label what you are asking them.  For example, when making breakfast, hold up a banana and strawberry and say, banana or strawberry and show each item to them.  This is a great way to help them learn to ask you for a specific item.

Identify Motions

When your little one does something, or wants something, help them identify the motion.  If they want to be picked up, say up and hold your hands out so they understand that is what up means.  Or if they are clapping their hands, say clap.  These help them to understand what movements they are doing and express what they want.  We have also used it to say what we would like Gage to do, such as hold hand, or walk.

What are your tips to helping your child begin to talk?

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16 comments found

  1. We sing and read books every day to our little one. We also repeat words or sounds a lot throughout the day. For example, we would say “mama mama mama” and eventually he said it! I love your idea of letting them pick the object, like food, and saying what each one is. I’ll have to try that. Thanks for these great tips on helping children talk!

  2. Great info. Implemented many of these with my little ones and now I can’t get them to stop talking lol. My niece is only two months and is so attentive and watches your mouth. We read to her nightly. She’ll be an early talker too. Thanks for the post.

  3. These are all great tips! My daughter is currently in that phase of saying a lot of words but none of them are English. Not gonna lie, I am kind of loving it! But I totally agree with so many of your points, and you offer great ideas for encouraging them to learn new words!

    1. My son is like that too – it sounds like he is talking in another language, but he knows exactly what he is saying!

  4. I love these tips because they are so easy to incorporate in your everyday life. My little girl is 14 months and I have recently made an effort to do everything you say and so often I feel so silly but I know how much it helps her. Thank you for the ideas!

    1. I know what you mean – when I am labelling what my son is doing, I feel so silly but he just looks at me like it’s normal!

  5. I think kids benefit so much just from a parent talking to them as you would an older child. Sometimes I catch myself trying to dumb down a sentence and I’m like wait a minute my 3 year old needs to learn different words!

  6. Interesting and useful read even if I am not a parent. I agree that singing songs and reading books with babies are great ways to help them learn their words.

  7. It’s crazy how fast some kids pick up words. My daughter is 2 1/2 and she is now chatting nonstop. Which also means she’s always listening… it’s gotten me into trouble a few times. Oops!

    1. I definitely know about that – it’s happened to me too! My daughter repeats things I’ve said to her or I say to her brother!

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