#3. Food and Drink Words
Food and drink words are a great way to encourage your child’s communication. They are short words that your child will be familiar with, such as “apple, banana, biscuit, water, milk, drink, food, bread, and yummy”.
Eventually over time, these single words, can be used to encourage sentence starters. For example, “I want… (wait for your child to see if they can express their choice), if not expressed, you can repeat the preferred food or drink word back to your child.
Day to day as you provide choices for food and drink, encourage your child to point to their preferred option. When they point or look at the preferred item, repeat their choice e.g. ‘I want a banana’.
This repetition will help them learn to ask for what they want and in the creation of short sentences.
#4. Body Parts
These early words can include “ears, eyes, teeth, nose, mouth, hair, hand, fingers, foot, toes and tummy”.
You can incorporate these words when playing with your child. Saying the names of different body parts and asking them to point them out is a great way to teach them these words early on.
During bath time, you could give them their doll/dinosaur, with a sponge, tell your child – “wash their tummy”. Praise and encourage your child when they are doing the actions.
Singing nursery rhymes such as ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ is another fun way to encourage them to learn. Remember to point to each body part as you sing it. Pause on a few occasions to see if your child fills in the gap and labels the body part correctly.
#5. Everyday Words
Everyday words can include familiar words for clothing, animals and transport. These categories can include early words such as;
- Shoes, socks, pants, shirt, boots, hat and coat.
- Dog, cat, horse, sheep, cow, elephant, monkey, pig, tiger, snake, bee and bird.
- Bus, boat, bike, aeroplane, truck, car and train.
You can incorporate these words into everyday tasks such as sorting your laundry or getting dressed. Comment and talk about what you’re holding. For example, “is it a sock or a hat” or “Mummy is wearing a top, you are wearing a… vest” etc.
While out and about, talk about the animals you see or the vehicles that are going past on your walk. As your child becomes more familiar with these words, encourage them to say them when they see these things too.
#6. Household Objects
Household objects offer the perfect learning opportunity. These single words can include;
Start by pointing to different objects and repeating their names. Move on to saying the name of an object and asking your child to point it out. While talking to your child, if they don’t respond to your prompts, say the response you were expecting. For example, “oh no, you need a spoon… here is a spoon”.
Once they are using words, encourage them to ask for each item or repeat the name as you point to it.
#7. Action Words
Repeating action words before you do the action with your child encourages them to learn those words and as they begin to speak, it provides them the opportunity to tell you what is happening.
For example, you can say “go” before you kick or roll a ball to your child or “go” before you push your child on the swing.
Use words such as fall (down), in, on, go, gone, more, finish, look, open, close, push, turn (on/off), fly, fix, eat, drink, wash, brush, run, sit and cry, to get them understanding what each action is.
How Noala Can Help
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The first program is built for developmental language, motivating your child to say and understand their first words and sentences.
If you’re interested, you can sign up for free, accessing your first coaching video, all about food. You’ll be able to book a call to chat to your designated expert speech professional for guidance, feedback and support your child’s progress and questions you may have.