Little ones love dinosaurs! Playing with them encourages creativity, imagination, and active play. And when you’re playing, they provide a great way to help your toddler talk. Play is a natural way for children to explore the world around them and express their thoughts. When buying dinosaurs, it can be helpful to have a variety of species, sizes, and colors.
Using the dinosaurs with everyday objects allows your little one to develop language skills. For example, “Your dinosaur is drinking water from the cup. It must be thirsty.” Or, “Your dinosaur is walking on the stick. It walks fast!” It also may be easier for your child to mimic the sounds a dinosaur is making:
- “Shhh. The dinosaur is going night-night.”
- “Brrrr. It’s chilly. Let’s cover the dinosaur with a blanket.”
- “Nom nom nom. This food is yummy.”
Instead of asking yes or questions, ask your little one open-ended questions, such as “What do you think your dinosaur wants to eat?” or “What does your dinosaur want to do?” These questions encourage your child to share their thoughts and ideas.You can also use this opportunity to teach your toddler exciting facts about dinosaurs, such as how they lay eggs. They can use pebbles for rocks to make a nest with leaves and twigs.
Using Play-Doh to make dinosaur tracks is another tool for helping your child talk. Do the dinosaurs have big feet or little feet? How many toes do they have? Compare their feet to you and your child’s feet. This is another way to use action words as your toddler shows how the dinosaur can march or tiptoe through the Play-Doh. Take turns acting out how the dinosaur walks fast, slow, or stomps.
While you’re reading to your little one, use the dinosaur to interact with the people and objects in the book. Is the dinosaur going to school? How do they sit at their desk? Are they playing with the other kids? Use the book as a backdrop to create stories for the dinosaur.
If you have a dinosaur book, you and your child can match the dinosaur to its picture. You can also play the matching game:
- What dinosaurs have spikes on their back?
- Are there any dinosaurs with horns on their heads?
- What dinosaurs walk on two legs? Which ones walk on four legs?
- What dinosaurs have long tails? Which ones have short tails?
With a dinosaur book, you can also teach your child the different names. This helps you to expand your vocabulary even more. You can hide one dinosaur and have your child tell you which one is missing.
Dinosaurs offer an exciting and effective way to encourage language development in your toddler. Just remember that every child develops at their own pace. I have a free speech and milestone checklist to help you understand typical language development.
I also offer a free workshop on my proven method to help your toddler say more words.
So, grab some dinosaurs and let your toddler’s imagination soar. Happy playing!