At two years old, your toddler not only understands most of what you say, but he or she will quickly speak with a rapidly growing vocabulary of 50 or more words. A 2 year old will graduate from 2-3 word sentences like “Drink juice” or “Daddy want cookie?” to those with 4, 5, or even 6 words: “Where did the truck go?” “I will feed my baby” and yes, “I can do it myself”. Ahh… the joy of hearing the voice of independence.
There are many ways to promote language at this age. Some you do naturally every day. Following are a few activities to encourage your child’s language development:
Engage your child in simple conversation – using proper grammar and clear pronunciation.
Name objects – for instance when presenting an apple, expand on it: discuss the shape of it, how it grows, its food group, and ask your child “What color is this?” (Another way to learn colors).
Do puzzles – puzzles are great for vocabulary and spatial awareness.
Identify body parts – this is a great time to introduce “Head, shoulders, knees and toes..” Soon your little one will be pointing and moving their body! Ask “Where are your_______?” As they develop with the simple ones, expand further…where are your eyebrows, fingernails, etc.
Ask your child for help – he or she is able to understand. By helping, your child learns co-operative interaction, develops language by asking questions along the way, and builds his or her self-esteem.
Singing and clapping – rhythm and rhyme builds a child’s phonological awareness.
Use inflections in your voice – they will echo it.
Set out a basket of objects or household items – Ask your child “what is this? what do I do with it?”, etc. The more you ask, the more you discover their language skills. It is also fun to put a napkin over an object, invite them to feel it and then tell you what it is. Feel free to give them clues to promote deductive thinking
Provide open-ended toys – for exploration and imagination.
Relate events describing people and their apparent feelings – Add facial expressions and ask “how do you think I am feeling? Can you show me your silly, happy, sad face?”
Enjoy your child’s language “explosion” while having “Fun to Flourish”
Child Development – Language – 24 to 36 months