Tips for Communicating With Your Toddler

Tips for Communicating With Your Toddler

Before they’ve reached a certain age, having a conversation with your toddler can be a very one-
sided experience, but as soon as the little ones hit two or three, the avalanche of words begin. In

fact, children know about 20 to 200 words by the age of two and those numbers balloon to 1,000

only a year later. The expectations for your toddler keep growing with the anticipation your child

will have a strong vocabulary by the time they reach preschool.

Like almost everything else in your toddler’s life, your input is important to developing the skills

they’ll need to communicate effectively and the run-up to that all important third year can start

earlier than you might have imagined.



Responding to your baby’s gestures and sounds is a great way to initiate the process. For

example, when your baby holds her arms out to be picked up, use some simple words to affirm

the gesture. Saying: “You want up, don’t you?” helps the baby to associate gestures they make

with words they can’t yet understand and interests the child in the relationship.

Of course, when they move into the toddler stage, reading to them is a great way to

build their curiosity in developing their own language skills, but there are some other interesting

methods that work wonders too. Here’s a few of the more effective ways to turn your toddler into

a nonstop chatterbox.


Peanut Butter and Tissues

Helping them understand how words form makes developing language more interesting. For

example, you can place a little dab of peanut butter behind her front teeth and tell her to touch the

spot with her tongue, carefully explaining afterward that’s the same spot her tongue will touch

when she pronounces words with the letters T and D. Other games you can play with your toddler

include demonstrating the way in which consonants work by placing a tissue in front of his face

and then asking him to make the P sound so the tissue flutters.


Giving your child a narration of your day is another great way to get them interested in the

relationship between language skills and the world around them. Describing how you’re washing

the dishes gets them to feel more connected to the activities of the older members of the family

and talking to them as you play keeps them interested in learning language skills on a constant

basis. Be simple and specific telling them how their arms and legs get wet when bath time comes

around and, if possible, have each member of the family share an important event from their day.

Finally, although it’s usually considered irritating when you do it in conversation with another

adult, repeating yourself when talking with your toddler is a good thing. New words have a better

chance of sticking in your child’s vocabulary when they get repeated in the same sequence. For

example saying: “See how big the tree is? That dog across the road is big too,” draws attention to

the one word you want to focus on.


For more interesting articles like this, visit All My Children Daycare.

Author: Rob Starr