The following are suggestions for how to facilitate speech and language development from infancy to preschool age in the home environment.
- Read books to your baby often. Books that are simple, repetitive, and colorful are great to start with.
- Play imitation games with your child such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”.
- Imitate your child’s vocalizations, even if he/she is not using any true words. This lets your child know that you want to communicate.
- Model environmental and animal sounds when playing with toy animals and cars.
- Music activities such as singing, listening to music, reciting nursery rhymes and finger plays are great activities that provide rhythm and intonation for speech development.
- Talk to your child about things you are doing together. Teaching concepts through routine activities throughout the day is a great way to stimulate your child’s language development. Playing, shopping, cooking, and taking a bath are all times that are great for language stimulation.
- Model correct production of sounds during natural activities in daily interaction with your child.