Speech and language tips and scripts

Developmental Stage: Your toddler points, gestures, and uses words to communicate. Your toddler is learning receptive speech (understanding what you say) and is getting better with expressive speech (being able to talk). He recognizes that specific sounds (words) represent specific objects or actions. He is eager to learn to speak. He begins to practice words and phrases, sometimes on his own in his crib.

Tips

Scripts

Correct pronunciation in a neutral manner. This gives your toddler the message that you understand what he is saying and that you expect his speech to be clearer. Do not pressure your child to immediately repeat the word back to you. If your child says a word unclearly such as “wawa” for “water,” repeat the word correctly: “Oh, you want some water.”
Try to figure out and respond to what your child is trying to say or express. If you can’t understand what your child is saying but she tugs at your sleeve and heads towards the refrigerator, she may be hungry. Ask, “Are you hungry?”
Label objects seen in the environment, or in books. Encourage your child to repeat the name of objects. Remember to praise correct responses and encourage attempts. Point to a picture of a boat. “This is a boat. Look at the picture of the boat. Can you say boat?” “Boat.” “Good job”
When your child says something, expand on it. If your child says “Milk?” say, “Do, you want milk? Here’s a cup of milk.”
Expose your toddler to a wide variety of environments (supermarket, playground, library, mall, zoo, aquarium) and talk about what you see using simple language. Reinforce any new vocabulary by looking at books or pictures. When at the supermarket: “Let’s get some fruit. Here’s an apple. See the big red apple? Let’s put four apples into our bag. One apple…two apples…three apples…four apples! Let’s put our bag into our shopping cart. What else should we get? How about some bananas? These bananas are yellow. Smell the yellow bananas.”
Talk about simple concepts (up and down, big and little, in and out). As you and your child are reading “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, introduce concepts of big and little. Say, “the mama bear is big. the papa bear is big too, and the baby bear is little!”