Activities to Encourage your Young Child’s Speech and Language

MBSA wishes to thank Rachel Althorp, TALK Speech Pathologist for preparing the following article.

  • Repeat new words over and over
  • Play listening games – eg “Touch daddy’s nose”, “Pick up the ball” 
  • Encourage looking at books and talking about the pictures. Point to the pictures and label things seen Talk out loud about what you are doing, or about what your child is doing – eg “oh you’re jumping. Jump jump jump. Mummy can jump too” etc. If you ask a question and it doesn’t get a response, answer the question out loud yourself! 
  • Carry on conversations in simple, short sentences (even if your child is not talking back!) 
  • Encourage your child to listen to tapes, audio story books 
  • Reward any efforts at saying new words 
  • Talk about new situations with your child – before you go, while you’re there, and again when you are home 
  • Encourage eye contact
  • Tell nursery rhymes and sing songs 
  • Play games with your mouth in front of the mirror, make a hissing snake sound for “s”, make the hush sound for “sh”, make a ‘mouse’s coughing sound’ for “k/c” etc.
  • Look through family photos and name familiar people and places together