Children whose parents spend time speaking and reading to them grow up to have larger vocabularies and a better command of their language.
Language development is something that happens naturally when children experience a language every day, but there are also things that you can do to help your child learn.
Language learning doesn’t have to mean sitting in a classroom or doing rigid activities. There are lots of fun ways to learn a first language or even an additional language.
Play Word Games
Word games come in many different forms that are appropriate for children of different ages.
Younger children can play games that focus more on listening and speaking, while older children can play games that help them with their reading and writing skills too.
Older children can have fun with word searches and crosswords, and use a word unscrambler to help them find solutions.
Younger children might enjoy memory games or games like I Spy, and other traditional games.
There are plenty of games that you can play, whether it’s something you buy or something that you can play anywhere.
Listen to Music
Music is excellent for building language skills. Not only can you listen to the lyrics, but you can also sing along and dance too.
The rhythm of music can help with learning, and there is evidence that music is good for memory too.
Music helps to teach children about the rhythm of language and movement can help children to learn too.
Whether you listen to children’s songs, sing something together or explore other music together, it’s a fun way for your children to learn without it feeling like learning.
Reading to your child is essential for their language development, and you might also consider listening to audiobooks with them too, or perhaps simply telling some oral stories.
When you read with your child, it gives you valuable time together, and it’s a great way to wind down and have some quiet time.
You can start early, with simple board books for babies and toddlers.
As your child begins to read themselves, you can continue to read with them and help them with a new aspect of learning a language.
But even when your child can read on their own, don’t stop reading to them.
Enjoy Storytelling and Imaginative Play
Another way to encourage language development for your child is to spend time telling stories to each other and engaging in imaginative play.
Whether you simply make up a story, put on a puppet show or enjoy some roleplay games, it’s a good way to encourage your child to use their imagination and to make use of their vocabulary in different ways.
Some children naturally like to make up stories, whereas others might need a little bit of encouragement.
There are lots of ways to encourage your child’s language development. The most important thing is to spend time with them and talk to them.
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