Technique 76 – Read, Sing, and Talk to your child as much as you can.
Why? Because it is good for your little one in every way.
One Year to Two
During this year you will hear your toddler’s first words. You will also notice your child’s vocabulary advance from about 50 words to about 300 words. Whereas before you were focusing on saying words and letters, you should now begin focusing on phrases and sentences and let those form the basis of your communication. Rich high quality and high quantity language are very important to your toddler’s beginning language development.
Here is an innovative approach to early reading. Enjoy this simple yet very effective technique.
When you hear your toddler say his or her first word, write it down in large clear letters on a sheet of paper. For example, it might be “Bye-bye.” Then show it to your toddler and say, “You said, “Bye-bye.” Then when you hear him or her say, “Bye-bye” again, show the word again. Each time you hear it, show the word. Then after you have done that several times and you have the idea that he or she is familiar with the visual word, show your baby the word and see if he or she recognizes it by saying, “Bye-bye.” If not, model the word bye-bye. Follow this same procedure when you hear each of your toddler’s new words. It is a good idea to save the word sheets in groups of ten and then put them together by making them into a booklet. The first booklet will be a record of your toddler’s first ten words. After that you will have additional booklets of ten words each.
What your mother sang to you is probably what you will choose to sing to your child. If not, seek out nursery rhymes and happy songs that make you feel good to share with your little one. That is it. Your joyful singing is what will teach your child to do the same. The best part about this activity is that it is all natural.
This is the time to converse a lot with your child.
When you hear a word or a simple phrase, repeat it back. That is not only an excellent method for reinforcing the use of language, but it is also an effective way to model clear speech. If any part of the word or words is unclear, repeating it back will help your toddler to be able to say it more clearly the next time.
Excerpted from Constructive Parenting pp. 83-85
About the Activity: Since your toddler is progressing from one- word communication to short phrases, it is helpful to participate in this expansion process.
How to Play: When you hear a one-word communication, expand it to two. When you hear two words, expand them to three. When you hear three words, expand them to four. Here are some examples:
* Your child says, “Ball.” You say, “Red ball.”
* Your child says, “Blue sky.” You say, “The blue sky.”
* Your child says, “I like swimming.” You say, “You like swimming a lot.”
November! The Month of Giving Thanks
Make this activity as easy as A B C!
Acknowledge everything that is around you.
Be happy with simple pleasures.
Count your blessings.
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