It’s not always easy to think of ways to help develop your child’s speech and language skills especially when family life is so busy. We asked our speech and language therapists for some quick tips to help.
Here are their ideas for working on speech and language skills that are quick to implement at home
- Repeating sounds and words: When a child makes a mistake with their words or sounds, repeat the sentence back correctly so that they can understand where the mistake happened. E.g., ‘I goed to the shops.’ you repeat back, ‘You went to the shops?’
- Plan out talking time: The best way to support communication, is to communicate more. Choosing an everyday activity and turning it into a conversation is a great way to support communication.
- Giving time: In a conversation with a child, give more time between turn-taking. This is to let the child process the meaning of what they have heard and think of what to say
- Helping out: Have your children help with putting the grocery shopping away. Ask them what each product and ask them where they belong in the kitchen.
- Watch TV together: Watch your child’s favourite tv show, then have them retell you what happened in the show.
- Use visuals to support understanding: There are a wide range of different visual cues, so pick one that is best matched to the situation and the child’s level. E.g., photos, picture-drawing, videos, signs, etc.
- Don’t pretend to understand: Encourage your child to find another way to communicate their message if it’s not the correct way.
- Expand your child’s expressive language: Repeat back what the child has said and then add in one or two extra words. E.g., the child says, ‘She’s got a bike.’ and you say ‘Yes, she’s got a new red bike.’