Age: baby, toddler, parent
Skill for Bub: Mind builder
Talking to Baby is the best way to encourage his emerging vocabulary, which is now disguised as babble.
Baby’s first sounds are usually coos. These sounds develop into babbles where you will hear a variety of speech sounds including “p, b and m.” Babbling is then molded into “true words” where you may hear various sounds including “t, d, p, m, b, k, g and s.”
The best way to encourage vocabulary is to talk a lot. You are your baby’s best model, and you can help your baby enrich his vocabulary by exposing him to various words and experiences. Walks in the park, grocery shopping and bathing are great activities that are filled with wonderful vocabulary. Here’s how to enrich your baby’s language experiences:
- As you are walking in the park, talk about the birds chirping, the kids on the swings and the dogs running. What sounds does the bird make? What is the child making in the sandbox? What color is the sky?
- While shopping, talk about the fruits, vegetables and all your baby’s favorite foods. What shape is the orange? What does the onion smell like?
- As you bathe him, name his body parts and talk about how the water feels warm and the bubbles “pop.” Where are Baby’s toes? Where did the bubble go? Is the water getting colder?
- As your child grows and learns words, start to teach him synonyms (another word that means the same) for the words he knows. For example, if he knows “big,” then talk about how things are “huge.”
- You also can discuss opposites. If something is big, then what is small? If the ice cream is cold, then what is hot? If the light is on, then what is off?
You are all your baby needs to enrich his vocabulary! See The Name Game and Buh Bye Baby! for more great ideas.