Toddlers are always consumed with curiosity and use sensory-motor experiences to explore and discover the world around them. Initially, a toddler operates with non-verbal expressions and a smattering of words, which often create frustrating situations while interacting with significant adults. It is around 24 months that the toddler learns to speak about 50 words and stitches together 3to 4-word sentences. In such a scenario, it is imperative for you to enhance your toddler’s verbal expression by understanding the power of words. You may use sensory- motor activities that are combined with listening and speaking. You can be creative and resourceful and seize every opportunity available for the same. Here is a suggested plan of action for you to offer guidance to your toddler through a fun-filled way. It does not follow any serial order.
A plan of action for mothers
- Encourage your toddler to use speech instead of pointing at or crying for something that he wants.
- Play different types of games which involve naming, listening and following instructions.Play treasure hunt and its variations with one or two objects hidden within your toddler’s reach and naming it when found. Also, sing rhymes and songs with actions.
- Label your toddler’s personal things such as a bed, table, and cupboard to learn word-object association.
- Make scrapbooks on family and other categories of pictures which your toddler can point at and talk about them.
- When you are outdoors with your toddler, show, and name familiar signs near traffic lights or at a shop entrance.
- Read age-appropriate stories from children’s books or tell them orally.
- Ask your toddler to narrate his experience from a recent event like a visit to the zoo.Do ask questions and offer help in between when necessary.
Here’s how your toddler will benefit from your action plan.
- He will gradually get into a verbal mode of functioning or self-expression.
- He will associate words with feelings, people, tasks, and instructions, to name a few.
Your toddler will learn to follow age-appropriate, instructions like ‘come here and sit by me.’
- He will learn to speak in simple sentences.
- Your toddler will learn to get attention for meeting his needs.
Also remember, children, learn by repetition and imitation. So repeat each activity or experience till your toddler has imbibed what you had intended, for him.