Although raising children is among the most challenging jobs in the world, there is currently no one program that is accepted worldwide to train parents to be successful. The good news is that, in addition to using routine activities as teaching opportunities, there are a lot of simple strategies to encourage a child’s brain development.
Keep up the conversation
Even though babies’ sounds and motions don’t often seem to be that significant, they are the only means of communication they have. Parents must interact with their children throughout the day by responding to their sounds, signs, and behaviors. The number of words a child hears from adults before they turn two years old affects how big their vocabulary is at that age and how well they learn to read later on. Encourage baby talk and take it seriously.
At preschool age, interest in a variety of toys is preserved, which allows for the development of playing skills. A communication toy, link here, has the function of distracting and amusing, but also teaching and instilling some useful skills.
- Musical toys (children’s balalaikas, organs). The child subordinates their movements to the rhythm, the ear for music, the sense of rhythm improves. An adult introduces a baby to musical toys in the first year of life. These toys are specially designed for educational purposes and are built on the principle of autodidacticism, that is, they contain a way to use them.
- Soft toy (doll, bear). A toy at a certain stage of development is the best friend of the baby, develops communication skills, sociability, and responsibility. Parents should carefully consider the choice of the “first friend”, namely the quality of the material, long service life, attractive appearance of the toy.
- Didactic toys (nesting dolls, pyramids). Any didactic toy sets a learning task for the child, the conditions for solving which are laid down in the toy itself, its design or the content of the game. The parent needs to arouse interest in the toy and teach how to play with it. The task of the parent is to direct the activities of children in a developmental direction. So with the help of a toy, you can teach a child to highlight the various properties of objects (color, shape, size), and perform tasks for highlighting by similarity or difference.
Exercises and games for the development of speech
Finger games. A favorite activity for all kids, this is geared toward the production of speech and the development of fine motor skills. Teach your child little rhymes. Connect finger movements that your baby will be happy to repeat. Such games help to improve fine motor skills as well as teach children how to speak properly.
Articulation exercises. The small muscles of the mouth in childhood need to be trained, as they may not be sufficiently developed. To strengthen them, daily articulation exercises are required. Sit with your child in the mirror to control the correct execution of the exercises. Follow the lips’ movements and tongue, giving the kid an illustration for their independent work.
Didactic games. There are a huge number of games and techniques using didactic material. And almost all of them can be applied to the development of speech. The game “Magic Bag” is great for developing speech skills. Rules of the game: in the bag there are objects of various shapes and sizes. The child is invited to choose an object and describe it. Pronunciation of the signs of an object reinforces speech, and also helps in the formation of initial mathematical concepts.
Exercises for the development of speech breathing. It is important to teach the child to breathe properly, starting from the moment of formation of their speech. The air released by us during the pronunciation of speech is the source of sound. Many simple and easily accessible exercises are aimed at developing breathing, for example: blow on a dandelion, inflate a balloon, blow soap bubbles.
Music games. You can teach your child to speak with the help of musical games. When children sing, the assimilation of sounds, syllables, and, ultimately, words is easier for them. Musical games can be organized in several variations: with musical instruments (spoons, drums), songs with onomatopoeia of animals, and songs with the simultaneous execution of simple movements.
Rhyme games. Professionals recommend using rhyme games with kids aged 3-4 years old as it helps children learn new words and improve pronunciation skills. The game “Guess My Rhyme” is a great way to help your child learn rhymes. It’s easy: the adult says a word, and the child has to guess what word rhymes with it. The more fun you make it, the easier it will be for your little one to master the new language skills.
You can also use stories as a way of developing language skills in children at home. Reading aloud stimulates the development of speech in children from an early age. When reading a book or story out loud, pause often to explain words and ask questions about what’s happening in the story. This helps build vocabulary and encourages critical thinking skills in children as well.
These are just some of the many ways parents can increase their child’s language skills at home. With a little creativity and patience, parents can help their children develop speech as early as possible.