How to teach your child to talk


It’s hard to NOT give your little one things that you know she wants….if  you know she’s thirsty you may just give her a drink….if it’s lunch time you may just make her lunch…if she wants to play with her blocks…you may give the blocks to her so she can play. 

As mama’s we do anticipate what our little ones need….and sometimes are quick to just give them want they want.  However, by NOT anticipating her needs or desires…you are setting her up to make an attempt to communicate.  Maybe she will point….or verbalize a sound or word to let you know what she wants.  Below are some quick tips on how you can elicit language.


During therapy I like to put all of my toys in individual Ziploc bags…most of the little ones can not open the bags…..then I take a few Ziploc bags out of my bag of toys….and I just place them in front her.  Usually….she will make an attempt to open the  Ziploc bag….and when she can not….she will hand the bag to me….and sometimes verbalize “open”….if she is not able to talk yet….I am sure to tie my words with my action….so as I am opening the bag…I say open.   Now for parents at home….it is NOT realistic to put all of your toys in Ziploc bags….however…you can place desired toys…out of reach…but visible to your child.    Hopefully….once your little one sees the toy….she will point or verbalize a sound or word to obtain the toy.  If she points….give her the toy…..and as you give her the toy… sure to say “blocks”.

When it is time to sit down for breakfast…..and mama and daddy have a bowl full of cereal and a spoon….and your little one has a bowl full of cereal….but she does not have a spoon.  Will she ask for one?…..give her a chance to initate her language and make a request…….see if she makes a verbal or non-verbal attempt to let you know that she needs a spoon.

I also like to make mistakes during dressing…….put her socks on her hands….her hat on her feet…..she if she makes any verbalization to tell you that her socks do not go there….or maybe she points to her feet….letting you know that is where her socks go……if so be sure to say..”Socks on feet!  Yes”.

If your child has a few favorite television shows…..go on the computer on Google images…print a few pictures of her favorite show.  Rather than just turning on the TV for her….see if she can point to one of the pictures….to tell you that is what she wants to watch….then be sure to provide the word for her.  Eventually she will learn to use words to communicate to you.

As mamas I know it is hard to not anticipate and meet the needs of your child or children.  However, if your little one is struggling to acquire language…the strategies above may help to elicit words from her.

Have fun with your little one or big one!


About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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