Are you worried that your young child isn’t saying very many words? One of the best ways to get your baby or toddler talking more is through play. When you’re playing together and having fun, you’ll both feel more relaxed, and the learning will come easier and be more natural.
Does your little one love play-doh? It’s no secret that play-doh is great for independent and sensory play, but when you join in the fun, the possibilities are endless for words you can model while you play. Even if your toddler doesn't mimic you right away, keep exposing them to new words every day, and they will pick up on them!
Some of my favorite words to use while playing with play-doh include:
- Requesting words: help, again, more
- Action words: squeeze, cut, pull, roll, poke, squish, push
- Concepts: in, out, big, little
- Describing words: squishy, hard, flat, round
You can also use play-doh to talk about colors and shapes, or even have fun making animals or pretend food like an orange or an apple!
While you’re playing with play-doh together, the following tips might help you to encourage language:
- Repetition - Repeat words over and over. Say target words even more times than you think you need to. Repetition helps your child learn new words and also increases the likelihood that they will imitate you as you say them.
- Join in - Make sure you have your own play-doh, so you can have fun with your toddler. You will be able to be part of the activity but still encourage independence in your child.
- Follow their lead - If your child isn’t responding to what you’re saying or doing with the play-doh, copy and talk about what they’re doing.
- Keep it simple - Use a lot of short phrases and single words. When you keep your language simple, your child is less likely to feel overwhelmed.
- Don’t be afraid to be silly! - You can add fun sound effects or do silly voices while you play. Your child might be more likely to imitate you!
Check Out My Talking With Toys Series!
If you’re looking for more ideas of ways to incorporate language when you’re playing with your little one, don’t miss my YouTube video series Talking with Toys. Whether your child likes cars, dolls, dinosaurs, or MagnaTiles, I have tips to help you increase your child’s vocabulary while having fun at the same time! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you won’t miss new videos! You can even leave a comment letting me know what other toys you would like to see me cover.
Looking for Even MORE Tips?
If you want to play an active part in your child’s speech and language development, you can join the thousands of families just like yours who have used my proven method to connect and communicate better with their little ones. When you sign up for my free workshop, you will learn:
The three things you should STOP doing when trying to help your baby or toddler talk and what to do instead
- How to engage your baby or toddler like a speech therapist so that they stay connected longer and request more
- How to use your everyday routines with your baby or toddler (i.e., the stuff you are already doing together!) to grow their vocabulary
- My favorite games for language development that you can start using right away
You can feel confident teaching your baby or toddler to communicate without adding one more thing to your busy schedule! I’m excited to see how you and your child grow together!
I’m rooting for you!