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8 tips to help your kids with speech development at home

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Finding out your child has a speech impediment or a problem with their hearing can be overwhelming.

How is this going to affect their future? How do you help them?

While it may take some time to process, there’s always help.

With the advancements of modern technology and education, effective methods have been developed that’ll provide your kids with the skills they need to communicate in the world. In fact, some of these methods can be implemented right in the comfort of your own home.

In this article, we’ll cover some helpful tips to kickstart your kid’s speech development at home. 

Basic activities you can do at home to develop speech

We all love our kids, and we want them to have the best life possible, right?

Equipping them for this life starts when they’re young at home.

Studies show that between 12 and 18 months, babies start trying to communicate, so you can start speech activities as soon as you see signs of communication.

Here are some basic activities that you can practice at home:

1. Don’t over-complicate things

Kids learn best when they engage in something they enjoy. But trying to do something too complicated might make them frustrated, so keep activities simple and engaging.

A great way to get this right is by getting your kid open-ended toys.

This means giving them toys that can be used for a variety of games, allowing your kid to be creative and use their imagination. 

While this might not solely teach them to communicate, it will help unlock their senses, encouraging them to engage with their surroundings when they get creative.

As a result, they’ll rely on their senses, like hearing, smell, or touch, to help them. This is a step in the right direction. 

2. Set aside time to play

It seems like kids have an endless supply of energy! They’re always ready for playtime. For kids with speech impairments, playtime is the perfect occasion for them to practice communicating. 

Give your child at least 30 minutes to an hour of playtime every day and encourage them to communicate what they’re want to do.

For example, you could label their toys and tell you which one they want to play with.

Just helping them comfortably describe what game or toy they want to play with will do wonders for their speech development. 

3. Read books

This one is going to test your kid’s patience, and yours for that matter. Reading books is a fantastic way to help your child’s speech develop.

While reading a book to them, your child would be listening intently, more so than they would with a casual conversation.

This exposes them to new vocabulary and encourages them to use their imagination as they listen to the story.

We’d also suggest asking easy, open-ended questions about the book and allowing your child to answer them.

This will keep them engaged and give them valuable practice. 

4. Teaching feelings and emotions

At a very young age, kids haven’t learned how to convey their emotions properly yet, so they resort to fits or tantrums.

By teaching them what emotions are like—happy, angry, and sad—you can slowly help them develop the ability to communicate how they’re feeling so you can help them. 

This process is relatively long and requires consistency. You’ll also need to give your child a lot of affirmation.

The more comfortable they feel sharing their emotions, the better. 

5. Teach sign language

Another method that can help with speech development in your child’s early years is by teaching them basic sign language.

Children can get very frustrated when they’re unable to communicate what they want.

By teaching them basic sign, like point to something they want, showing that they’re hunger, or that they need to go to the toilet, will help their speech development significantly.

As they develop, you can start encouraging them to add words to the mix as well. 

6. Make them ask for things

This is a technique often used by therapists. Put things out of reach like toys or snacks. They still need to be within sight though.

You know how toddlers can be, out of sight, out of mind right? But if they see it, they’ll want it. 

When they see their favourite toy or snack, they’ll want it and need to communicate with you to get it.

This is when you can encourage them to use verbal or sign language to communicate that they want their toy.

The more they do this, the sooner it’ll become a habit. 

7. Have a sing-along

Ever heard the Baby Shark song? It’ll literally get stuck in your head for a week.

Sing-alongs are a super effective way to aid speech development.

Kids’ songs are fun and catchy and encourage kids to dance and sing. Even if they’re only able to mumble the song at the time, that’s a sign that they’re trying to sing along.

So try to do this often. It’ll get your kid into a fantastic mood and will be super fun for you, too. 

8. Take them to a speech therapist

As we wrap things up, going to a professional is genuinely one of the best ways to help a child that has speech difficulties.

Speech professionals will have the expertise to diagnose issues with speech and provide the most effective ways to deal with them.

If your child shows signs of speech problems early on, we’d suggest taking them to a speech therapist ASAP.

The earlier you start, the better the results. 

Final Thoughts

Whether your child has challenges with communication or not, implementing these tips will benefit them nonetheless.

We’d suggest working on your child’s communication skills as soon as they’re able to comprehend commands.

Trust us, having a toddler communicate what’s wrong is way better than dealing with a tantrum. 

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