Expanding Language Past First Words
Do you have a toddler who is “stuck” at saying only single words? Here are some tips to help EXPAND what he is trying to communicate:
⭐️ Continue to increase his single word/sign language vocabulary through songs, books, daily routines and people games.
⭐️ “First words” that can be targeted can be family members, favorite foods/drinks, body parts, places to go, household objects, clothing, social words (hi, bye, uh-oh), animal sounds and names.
⭐️ Begin to model two-word combinations by adding short words to the “first words” your child already uses. My favorite ones to start with are: MORE, NO, MY, WANT, BIG, OPEN. “More apple, no apple, my apple, want apple big apple!”
⭐️ Remember to still use the signs or gestures for these new words as you are modeling the two-word combinations!
⭐️ Repetition is key! Create opportunities for your child to communicate and use the same two-word combinations consistently, slowly and clearly.
⭐️ EXPAND what your child says throughout the day: If he says “car”, say “blue car”. If he says “on”, say “shoes on”. If he says “apple”, say “Mommy’s apple”. Model language all day long!
⭐️ My final tip: Don’t say “SAY” 😊 Model, model, model! Make your interactions and communication with your child FUN and the language will follow 💛
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