How To Help Your Toddler Learn New Words

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Babies start learning single words by 12 to 18 months. By age two, most can construct two-word phrases. When they turn three, most children have words for almost everything they see. Research suggests a strong vocabulary in childhood leads to an easier academic transition through school and later life. The more words children understand, the easier they can comprehend the books they read and ideas their teachers share at school. This makes them participate more in class, ensuring academic progress. It’s great for your toddler to pick up new words as early as possible. Here are some helpful tips you can use. 

  1. Follow their lead

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Think of your toddler as a little director leading playtime. Please provide all the play toys they need and let them lead the show. You must pay attention to what they pick or show interest in and engage them with those objects. For example, if your toddler picks or points at a toy train, mention it and encourage them to pronounce it, too. Please do this for every object or item they show interest in. If your toddler struggles to take the lead, you can pick any toy and play with it. By doing so, you model how to play with that toy, which can attract their interest. Once you have their interest in that toy, mention what toy it is and talk about it.

  1. Use educational decor

You can help your toddler pick up or learn new words with the decor elements you use in their rooms or around the house. First, surround your child’s room with colorful images of animals labeled with their names, shapes, numbers, and feature letters. You can also decorate their play areas with plush letters to help them learn new alphabets. 

Next, label every educational item you choose with the right names in clear letters. That will help your toddler associate the letters with the decor items. But it doesn't end there. Engage your child in conversations about those labeled decor items as often as possible. Please encourage them to identify and name each item. You can help them out by clearly pronouncing each item. 

  1. Engage your child in conversations

You’ve probably seen videos online of parents deep in conversation with adorable toddlers, although the little ones only speak gibberish. You can engage your toddler in conversations without educational decors or play toys. Although it sounds a little silly to try talking with a toddler, studies show that it builds their vocabulary while improving their listening skills. So, instead of saying the usual “goo goo” and “ga ga,” use proper words when speaking to them. Of course, their replies may be unintelligible, but they will pick your words with time. 

  1. Use repetition

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It’s important to ensure you repeat your words (words you want them to pick) as often as possible. Repetition is key to them absorbing your vocabulary. According to experts, babies and toddlers must hear words and sentences several times to learn and understand them. Always emphasize the words you’re repeating and pronounce them slowly. Also, use actions and gestures when repeating those words.


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