Getting to know your child better has lately become an exciting adventure, since you never know what new thing they might say. During the toddler and preschool years, your child is rapidly adding new words to their vocabulary and learning the nuances of oral language. While your child's teachers will fill their days with language learning opportunities, you can help reinforce these lessons by using these strategies at home.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
One of the best practices that your child's teacher learned about early childhood development is that open-ended questions inspire kids to give you more than just a one-word answer. At first, it may take a little practice to get used to saying something such as "Tell me about something exciting that happened at school today," rather than just asking whether or not your child had a good day. However, listening as the stories come pouring out of your child will help you remember to encourage them to give you more than a yes or no answer. Your child will also benefit from having more of an opportunity to practice their oral language skills.
Model Appropriate Grammar
Young children can become discouraged if they are constantly corrected on their grammar. However, you definitely don't want them to grow up pronouncing words incorrectly or using the wrong verb tenses. When your child says something incorrectly, just repeat it back to them using the proper language style. Over time, your child will naturally pick up on the correct ways to speak and drop those early habits of mispronouncing words.
Use Rare Words During Conversations
Baby talk is simply unnecessary since even the youngest babies can understand common words that they hear every day. As your child matures, give them new words to replace those that they hear frequently. For example, you could tell your child that the elephant at the zoo was enormous rather than just calling it big. Alternatively, you might refer to a color as turquoise rather than just blue. Helping your child build a rich vocabulary gives them more words to draw from when they are expressing their thoughts.
Stimulating your child's language acquisition does not require long grammar lessons. Instead, you can build their language skills through everyday conversations and activities at home. When you focus on filling your child's mind with new, rare words and encourage them to use them, you will discover that your child is filled with stories and ideas that they can express easily in your conversations.
To learn more about early childhood development, contact a location like the Northside Center.