Language Activities for Toddlers
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Language learning plays a key role in your child’s cognitive development. Therefore, if your little one faces some communication difficulties (for example, they have trouble stringing words together in a sentence or have difficulty with learning new words), consider helping them develop their language skills with some special language activities for toddlers.
By recognizing and addressing any kind of language delays early on, you can not only help your toddler to communicate more effectively but also gain more independence in the future.
You might be wondering in which language development activities you can engage your little one. So, let’s see a few of them that are all worth trying!
It’s important to note there that every child develops differently! These are just some fun ideas to encourage your child’s development- don’t worry too much about whether they excel at every challenge you give them. I know for my daughter, her attention span and ability to do language activities really varies. If you’re truly concerned- consider talking to your pediatrician for a referral to a speech therapist.
Try the Game “Name That Thing”
One of the most fun language activities for toddlers is the game “Name That Thing”. How can you play it? Just simply point to different objects around you and ask your little one to name them. What is great about this game is that it can be played literally everywhere: at home, in your garden, at the grocery store, or on the street.
You will see that playing “Name That Thing” is such a fun and effortless way to add new words to your toddler’s vocabulary!
You can also pull out an old “I Spy” book or even make your own object board with them to play with.
Sing With Your Toddler
Do you like to sing? Then why not do it together with your toddler? Choose some of your favorite songs and use them to improve your child’s language skills. They will love this activity and probably learn some new words at the same time. So in my view, it’s a win-win!
We usually pick a few songs on Amazon music and sing away (plus it entertains the newborn too! ha)
Listen to Music
If you don’t want to sing, listening to music can also help your child a lot in their language development. This is because due to the beat and intonation, music is extremely beneficial when it comes to various aspects of verbal communication (for example, syllable awareness).
Additionally, while listening to the lyrics, consider pointing to surrounding objects or pictures in a book. It will help your child to understand the lyrics and also create links for them between actions and words.
Use Building Blocks
Language activities for toddlers don’t have to be too complicated. Sometimes it’s enough if you take an existing activity to the next level. For this, playing with building blocks is a great example.
The next time you build towers, castles, or anything else with your little one, use it as an opportunity to work on their language skills. Say verbs like “build”, “fall”, “put”, or “take”, and adjectives like “small” or “big”. Also, you can count the blocks together and mention their colors.
Related read: Fearful Toddlers: Expert Advice on How to Help Your Child Through Insecurities
Have Fun with the Telephone Game
Improve your toddler’s communication skills and have fun with the telephone game. How? Get a pair of toy phones and set them up in the play area at home (or let them use their imagination- my toddler often uses shoes or notepads as her “phones.”) Then pretend that you are calling your child. Encourage them to go and pick up the phone and talk. Also, teach them to say “hello” as the first step to have a small conversation through the phone. If you practice this activity often, your little one will be able to talk more and more over time.
Explore Some Books
Children love listening to stories. Thus, reading to your child is one of the best ways to develop their language skills and introduce them to new words. Choose a book with colorful pictures and explore it together with your toddler. – They will love it!
Point at the pictures in the book and ask them to say what the images show. Also, ask them questions related to the story itself, and once the story is finished give them the chance to talk about it and express their opinion.
Play Alphabet Matching Game
Write the letters of the alphabet on some pieces of cardboard and give them to your toddler. Then cut out a few pictures from a magazine and hand the pictures of different objects to them. Finally, ask your kid to match the picture with the starting letter of the object seen in the pictures. This game is great for practicing the alphabet and improving their phonetic spelling.
Honestly, my daughter learned her letters from a leapfrog magnetic bus that she constantly played with on the fridge (annoying but effective!). So if your little loves noise and interactive activities there are plenty of flashy options too 🙂
Play with Dolls and Puppets
Give your child some dolls, puppets, or other toys and ask them to have conversations with these imaginary friends. To encourage them, don’t hesitate to start the game. Eventually, your kid will take over and lead the conversation.
Related read: What Are Examples of Play-Based Learning That You Can Do at Home With Your Toddler
Use Complete Sentences
You can teach your child to become better at sentence construction by asking them simple questions like “do you want to eat an apple?” and asking them to respond in a complete sentence. Help them construct coherent sentences and over time this practice will help your toddler yield great results in speaking.
Focus on the Details
When you are talking with your toddler try to focus on the details. For example, you can show them an object and ask them to tell what it is. When they say it is a “ball”, describe the object by focusing on the details as well. Say “It’s a big, red ball.”. This will help improve your kid’s vocabulary and observation skills.
Another great language development activity is to play connect-the-dots with your child. To do that make a dotted outline of the different letters of the alphabet on paper. Then, ask your toddler to join the dots. It will help them recognize and learn how to write each letter. Plus, it’s a great way to develop their motor skills as well.
To make the activity more exciting for your toddler, give some colored pencils to them. So they can color the letters with different colors after they have connected the dots.
Again, for the sake of reducing clutter (and my sanity)- we have some dry erase versions of these that I ordered from Amazon. That way you can wipe them clean and start over anytime!
Related read: 6 Toddler Activities to Keep Them Busy and Learning at Home
The Bottom Line
I hope you enjoyed these language activities for toddlers and you will try as many of them as you can. You will certainly have some fun with your toddler while helping them advance in language development! I always try to remember, that the fun factor and nurturing their curiosity is WAY more important in the toddler stage than trying to turn them into the next baby Einstein. 🙂
Which activities did you like the most? Which ones would you add? Let me know in the comments!