Language development in kids starts at a very early age. At around 18 months old, they start to understand and use simple words. This is an important milestone in their development as it helps them to communicate their needs and wants.
Using words also helps children to learn about the world around them. They can start to label objects and describe what they see, hear and feel. This early exposure to language is vital for their future success in learning to read and write.
There are many ways that parents can help encourage their child’s language development. One way is by talking to them often, using simple sentences and words. Reading books together is also a great way to develop their vocabulary and understanding of sentence structure.
It’s never too early to start talking to your child and helping them to develop their language skills. By doing so, you’ll be giving them a great head start in life.
Here are a few methods by which you can help your 18-month-old build his or her vocabulary:
1. Read to your child every day
This is a great way to introduce new words and concepts while also bonding with your little one. Choose books with bright pictures and simple stories that your child can easily follow.
2. Encourage your child to talk
Talk about what you’re doing throughout the day, point out objects and ask questions. Don’t worry if your child’s responses are mostly single words or gibberish, they’ll soon start putting sentences together.
3. Repeat back what your child says
This helps them to understand that their communication is being heard and valued. It also allows them to hear how words are put together to form sentences.
4. Sing songs and nursery rhymes together
Songs are a fun way to learn new words and concepts. They also help to develop a child’s memory and listening skills.
5. Play word games together
There are lots of fun games you can play with your child to help them learn new words. Try spotting objects beginning with the same letter, making up silly rhymes, or taking turns making up a story.
6. Visit the library
The library is a great place to find books, songs, and activities that can help your child learn new words. There are also usually staff on hand who can offer advice and support.
7. Get outside
Make the most of the great outdoors by pointing out all the different things you see, smell, and touch. This is a great way to introduce your child to new words and concepts.
8. Encourage your child’s interests
Talk about the things that interest your child, whether it’s animals, cars, or dinosaurs. This will help them to learn new words related to their hobbies and interests.
9. Give your child time to practice using new words
It takes time for children to learn how to use new words properly. Be patient and give them plenty of opportunities to practice using the words they’ve learned.
10. Praise your child’s efforts
Children thrive on positive reinforcement, so make sure you praise them when they use new words correctly. This will encourage them to keep trying new things and expanding their vocabulary.
11. Seek professional help if you’re concerned about your child’s development
If you’re worried that your child isn’t meeting their milestones, speak to your GP or health visitor. They can offer advice and support, or refer you to a speech and language therapist if necessary.
12. Keep talking
The most important thing you can do to help your child’s language development is to keep talking to them. The more words they hear, the more likely they are to start using them themselves. So don’t be afraid to chat away, even if it feels like you’re talking to yourself.
Encouraging your child’s language development is vital for their future success. By using some of the tips above, you can help them to build a strong foundation in communication and literacy.