How to Encourage your Toddler to Speak


Do you have a 1 or 2 year old child at home. Have they not yet started talking? Do they only say a few words? Here are some ways to get them talking!

1. Add More – If your child says a word add more to it. For example, if they say “dog” say back to them “Dog says woof”

2. Read and Sing – While reading books and singing songs try to link them to your experiences. “See the bird? Do you remember when we saw the birds at the park?” Point out pictures and say their name, especially objects you know your child in unfamiliar with.

3. Ask Questions – when talking with your child, use open questions such as “What happened?” or “What would you like to do?” By asking open questions children must say more than yes or no.

4. Pause and Wait – After asking a question give your child some time to think and answer back. They may need a little wait time to put together their answer.

5. Play Together – Play with your child and discuss what you are doing while you are playing.

6. Repeat Correctly – If your child says a word wrong don’t point out they said it wrong, but say the word back to them correctly. For example if he says “Nana” say “Yes, that is a banana. Would you like to eat the banana?”

Remember children should be speaking by age 2 and understandable by age 3. Do keep in mind that all children develop differently BUT if you are at all worried about your child’s language development talk to your family doctor or seek out help from a speech-language pathologist. If there is a problem it is better to act on it sooner then later.

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