It seems in an instant, your cooing infant is suddenly a toddler! From the moment they are able to stand, you can bet you’ll be running after them for most of the time after. Along with your toddler running at the speed of light, you can bet on one more milestone to start becoming more prominent: your toddler talking. While it may be hard to guess what words and sounds they will cling to first, there are a few things to look out for when your toddler starts speaking a mile a minute.
When Your Toddler Should Start Talking
As your child learns to communicate, they will do so in stages as they progress and develop. Your toddler’s speech and language skills will begin around 6 months. They will respond to loud noises, will turn towards the source of noises, and will watch your face as you talk. At this stage, your toddler is starting to understand that sounds have meaning, but they are not sure what the meaning is yet. By 9 months, responding to simple words, such as being told no, responding to their own name, and babbling will start to surface.
Between 12 – 18 months, your toddler will be able to communicate with you through simple words and gestures. They will be able to follow simple directions, such as sit down, and will be able to respond to simple questions as well. These gestures, combined with noises, are the basis for their communication during this time, and it will help you as a parent understand what they want.
By 24 months, or 2 years, your toddler will be able to use about 100 words regularly, and will be able to combine those words into short, simple phrases. It is at this point they are able to differentiate between pronouns such as you, me, and mine, and people will be able to understand what they are trying to express more than half the time, as they now have the words and gestures combined to explain themselves. While each child will advance through the language stages differently, the cues outlined are good milestones of what your child should be able to grasp at each age.
Helping Your Toddler Learn
Toddlers may be eager to try new words or phrases, or could be nervous and anxious when trying to express themselves. To help your child develop speech and begin to talk, there are a number of ways you can encourage them to learn.
One main thing you can do to encourage your toddler to talk, is to talk to them as much as possible. The more you talk to your toddler, the more familiar and comfortable they will be with the sounds and words they hear, and the more new words they will learn. You can talk to your toddler as you go about your daily routine. Using everyday activities and objects that your child sees each day will allow them to create associations between the words you use to describe them, and the objects or activities themselves. For example, talk your toddler through diaper changes, feedings, and bath time. They will soon be able to create a connection between the objects you show them, and the words that represent them.
When talking to your toddler, as often as possible, simplify your speech. Using short sentences and emphasizing key words will help your child form connections. While you don’t want to over-simplify, it is important to speak so your child has a chance to understand.
You can also give your child choices to prompt a spoken response from them, and encourage the use of new words. For example, instead of asking if your child would like a snack, give them the choice between an apple or a banana. By asking questions that offer a choice instead of a yes or no, you are giving your child the opportunity to use the words they have learned, or even learn new words as they point to their choice. Don’t forget to show your child both the apple, then the banana while you offer them a choice so they can create the connection between the object and word!
Toddler Development at Childventures
Language development is an essential skill, one that is highly valued and emphasized in the Childventures Toddler Program. Through the unique blended curriculum, your toddler will work with qualified educators to develop their language in an enriched setting. Your toddler will be introduced to daily activities that promote brain stimulation, and will have the opportunity to learn in a multitude of ways.
If you would like to learn more about how we promote language development in our toddler program, please contact us to book a tour at any one of our four locations.