Enhancing a child’s speech and pronunciation is a gradual process. Here are some tips for the parents to help them improve these at home.
There is no certain age when a child should start talking clearly. When he understands languages, he speaks efficiently. At the age of one, a child generally speaks words like ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. They get to speak comfortably with 20-30 words by the time they turn 2 years old.
Not necessarily, every child will follow this pattern. So there is nothing to worry about if your child is not able to talk but understands everything. Before rushing to any pediatrician, you can try to improve their speech at home.
Here are some speech therapy tips that you can follow at home.
1. Talk more
As a parent, you must speak as much as possible with your child. This may include gestures, words or actions that establish two-way communication. Give time, let your child understand what you are trying to say. Once they understand you, they will certainly give a reply.
2.Use short and simple words
While talking with your child make sure that you’re using short words that are simple to understand. Keep using this repeatedly so that your child can understand from the next time you speak to him.
Watch out for the words that your child is responding or reacting to. Ask them to repeat these words. In your everyday conversation, try to use simple words like milk, play, sleep, brush, bath, bye-bye, shoes, water, hands, legs, eyes, bird, cat, dog, cow, toy, doll, and so on. Phonics for kids can be used as speech therapy.
3. Tell bedtime stories
Let your child sleep with some bedtime stories. These will help them to understand the stories and will try to ask you questions by making gestures. Surely, a special bond between you two will be created. Later, this will certainly help your child to develop speaking skills. Also, try to develop kids English reading skills.
4. Read colourful storybooks.
Children are generally attracted to colourful pictures. Such storybooks help to develop reading skill for kids. They will try to ask you about the characters and various events in the pictures.
5. Keeps mobile phones and TV away
While you are giving speech therapy to a child, always try to switch off your TV and keep your mobile phones away. This will stop them from getting distracted and lose attention. Also, the visuals and sound effects can affect a child’s understanding and comprehension skills.
6. Point to an object and keep repeating.
To develop a quick understanding of objects, you can point towards them and keep repeating what they are. For example, show him a dog and keep repeating the phrase “dog” several times. After a few days, make sure your child is repeating after you.
7. Don’t Criticize
It is okay to make a mistake but never criticize your child. These dishearten them, instead try to correct the pronunciation. Always praise them for every try they make.
8. Use Sign Language
You can teach your child sign languages if you find them getting frustrated for not being able to speak correctly. This will encourage them to learn more. Generally, it takes time for a baby to talk clearly. So don’t lose hope and patience.
9. Use Mirrors
Mirrors are our best friend, it helps in improving ourselves without disheartening. Ask your child to speak in front of the mirror. This will be an exciting activity for them.
10. Try something new every day
You can tell your child how the world is different. Let them know something new every day. For example, if you are riding a bicycle, let them know how it helps you to stay healthy. Turn every situation into a new topic to discuss.
You will find numerous Phonics sessions and other fun activities online at Yellow Class that will greatly benefit your child, helping him/her improve pronunciation and speech greatly.