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1. Show your child pictures of animals and vehicles and talk about what sounds they make.
2. Use your child’s name when talking to him and teach him/her his/her full name.
3. Teach your child body parts. Look in the mirror and have him/her point out and name eyes, ears, hair, etc. Also have him wash and name different body parts during bath time.
4. Point out and name objects when you are doing the shopping or driving in the car. This expands your child’s vocabulary.
5. Help your child learn the names and functions of common objects like spoon, ball, pencil, etc. Ask, “What do you throw?”
6. Encourage your child to ask questions and tell what he/she wants. Frequently, children will point or gesture to indicate their needs.
7. Talk together about pictures in books or magazines. Name things, tell about what is happening and what might happen next and compare things in the picture with things that have happened in your child’s experiences.
8. Play sorting games and sort socks, colors, silverware, blocks, clothing, etc.
9. Talk about concepts such as bigger, smaller, more, less, soft, rough, hard, few, many, beginning, end, first, last, long, short, fat, thin, wet, dry, etc.
10. Encourage your child to play with other children. Social interaction is good language stimulation. Dress-up, house, and cars and trucks usually involve talking and role playing with each other.

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Pam Hass, Speech Language Pathologist, Interactive Therapy Inc


You can help your child learn new words.  To be a good communicator, your child must understand and use many words.  During the preschool years, words must be added to your child’s vocabulary continually.  You can help your child learn new words during everyday activities at home.  Use the following suggestions as you talk with your child:

1.  Choose meaningful, simple words.  Include different types of words-nouns for naming people, places, and things, and verbs for naming actions.

2.  With some new words, it might be helpful to use a gesture.  For example, waving your hand for “bye-bye” or holding out your hand when you say “Give me.”  Change your tone of voice and use different facial expressions to help your child learn the meaning of different words.  For example, if angry is the word to be learned , you might frown when you say, I am angry.”

3.  Teach a word in its most natural context first (learning “kick” while kicking a ball).  Always start with the most natural, common use of a word possible.  For example, point out common birds you see every day as examples of “birds” rather than a goose or a penguin.

4.  A child learns a word as a meaningful sound when it has been experienced in a variety of ways (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling).  Using real objects to teach words is far better than using pictures.

5. The word to be learned must be presented or said when  the object or experience is present.  Do everything possible to make a clear association between the word and what it represents.

Learn more about LEARNING NEW WORDS in part 2 of this segment.

Reference: Communication Skill Builders

Author: Leslie S. McColgin

Editing: Pam Hass, M.A. CCC/SLP Interactive Therapy Inc