Children pay attention to your sounds and expressions as you interact together, so make an effort to connect as you go about your day to help. Every time you talk, sing or point, you provide clues to the meaning of what you are saying and you are ultimately teaching babies communication. As your child gets older, talking to them and answering their questions teaches them about the world and allows you to discover the fascinating person they are becoming!
Watch the video and explore our tips below to learn everyday ways to incorporate talk, sing and point. For more information on The Basics contact us.
Talk to your baby from the time they are born during activities like changing, feeding, bathing and errands. Describe what you are doing.
Smile and look into your baby’s eyes. Exaggerate the sounds of words.
Talk about the things your baby looks at or reaches for. Notice which ways of talking or singing seem to interest them the most.
When your baby makes a sound, show excitement on your face and in your voice. Respond with words. See how long you can keep the “conversation” going back and forth between the two of you.
Your baby’s favorite songs might be those that repeat words or have rhyming sounds.
Point to objects and name them — especially the things that seem to interest your baby.
Talk about the everyday things you see and do together. Most things are new and interesting to a toddler!
Point to the objects you talk about. Encourage your child to point to objects that you name.
Show your toddler that you are interested in what they have to say. Respond to their comments and questions.
For example, if they point to a dog and say, “Doggie,” you can reply, “Yes, that is a doggie. It’s brown and soft.”
Get your toddler to think. Ask questions that start with "Who," "What" or "Why." For example, "Why do you think the boy is sad?" Show interest in their answers.
Sing songs and recite nursery rhymes from your childhood, books or make up new ones. Your toddler may especially enjoy the ones with rhyming sounds or hand motions. Try singing the same song whenever it’s time for a special activity like bath time.
Basics Insights is a free text messaging program for parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers that sends science-based tips to boost your child's development.
How do children learn to communicate? Join Children's Museum Houston educators as they explore language development through rhyme, songs and repetition.
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