How to Help Your Toddler Communicate
It’s hard being a toddler. During these precious months, your little one is in full-swing, learning, growing, and gaining some independence. You’ve probably heard that children learn the most during their first three years of life. We call that extraordinary period of time the phase of “the absorbent mind.” The Montessori method of education takes full advantage of a toddler’s natural curiosity and amazing capacity for learning. By meeting each individual child at their unique stage of development, we can help him or her limit the frustration they feel when overwhelmed with a lot of new information, especially difficulty communicating wants, needs, and emotions.
Education doesn’t end in the classroom. Here are some easy tips that you can do at home to help boost your child’s communication skills:
Narrate your day – Did you know the average toddler learns one new word per week from age 18 to 24 months? Toddlers are sponges for information, intently watching their environment in action. You can boost your toddler’s word-learning ability just by talking to them. When you interact with your child, such as during mealtime or when getting ready for bed, talk to him about what you are doing. Identify the foods they are eating, and state excitedly what your child is doing. For example, “John, you are eating your peas!”
Read more books – Reading to your toddler is great for many reasons. Not only does it help form a love of reading and learning, it’s also a good bonding exercise; nothing is like snuggling up with your little one and reading one of their favorite stories. Silly character voices can be fun too!
Turn off the television – Though toddlers and preschoolers can learn a lot from educational television, for little ones who are learning to talk, conversations on T.V. can be too advanced and confusing. Instead, try some role-playing games with her dolls and stuffed animals, to help her learn how to voice her needs and feelings.
Encourage healthy expression – Toddlers and tantrums go hand-in-hand. It’s hard for young children to understand, much less communicate how they feel. Encourage healthy expression by teaching her how to identify emotions and wants. By the time your child is 2, she can start learning to “use her words” to say things like, “I’m sad,” or “I want that.”
Helping your toddler learn to communicate early builds great academic and social skills, and it will make life a little easier for you both. Little children are wired to learn, so doing simple things like these can make a huge difference for your child.
As a Montessori school, we love helping children of all ages learn, grow, and thrive. When parents come to us with questions or concerns about their child’s development, we dedicate ourselves to helping that child reach their full potential. We will partner with you and your child for finding tools that promote success academically, socially, and beyond.