Your child’s abilities with language have grown a great deal. Language consists of so much more than words. Your child can put words together in somewhat complex sentences now. Your child can even tell you about his feelings and ideas in sentences. It is very important to encourage your child at this age.
What can Parents Do?
- Your child is like a little sponge soaking up everything around him. Talk to him. Sing to him. Read to him. Use adult language rather than “baby talk” as much as you can.
- By age 3, his favorite word is probably “why.” Enjoy his curiosity and that he loves to talk to you.
- The more you talk to your child, the more language will develop. Talk about everything. Dressing. Playing. Bathing. Walking. Everything.
- Speak slowly and give him time to respond.
- Listen. Answer questions.
- Help your child learn words that express emotion and feelings such as anger, happiness, joy and fear.
Reading together is another thing that will naturally increase your child’s language. Reading is also fun for you and your child. You should read to your child every day.
- Choose books that let your child touch and point to objects.
- Read rhymes, jingles and nursery stories.
- Do not worry about reading every word in the book. Follow your child’s lead as she may want to skip pages or go back and look at a favorite picture. If your child wants to go back to see a favorite picture or to skip a few pages, let her.
- Tell the story and point to the pictures. Let your child use her imagination to see the story in her own way.
- Your child could become attached to one book she wants to read over and over each day. Once the story becomes familiar, your child will want to “read” the story to you. Let her imagination go wild. Let her tell the story the way she wants it told.
It is very important to spend some time alone with your child each day. You can use this time to encourage creative play. This special time will help strengthen your relationship. This time also gives your child the attention she needs and wants at this stage.
—- from First5 Advice for New Parents