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Kid talk: How to encourage junior’s first words

Your child’s first words are likely to happen after a few months of kid talk. It’s an exciting time for you both as your little one starts to verbalise their wonder at the world — just prepare yourself for the torrent of questions that will follow soon after! Here are some things you can do to help teach your child to talk.

2 mins
to read Jan 27, 2021

Tips

  • Try to teach your child to talk about the things you see and do.
  • Describe things as you’re doing them (I’m cooking dinner, I’m calling daddy, I’m packing your bag).
  • Aim to read to your child every day and describe pictures in books too.
  • Sing and act out songs and nursery rhymes to make learning words fun.
  • Try to expand on what your child is saying, for example if they say “dog” you can say “Yes it’s a black dog”.
  • Let your toddler clearly see your face and mouth when you’re speaking so they can copy the shapes your lips and mouth make.
  • Ask them to make choices like “apple or orange” to encourage them to speak rather than point.
  • Repeat words back to them correctly, but don’t focus on their mistake.
  • Turn off the radio, TV, or tablet so there are fewer distractions, and you can spend time focusing on talking to each other.
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