9 Activities to Promote Speech and Language Development in Toddlers

Speech language development in toddlers

As your toddler’s speech and language skills develop there are activities that you can do at home to that can help enhance your child’s speech and language skills.

1.     Reading

Read books to your toddler every night.  This is something that can be integrated into your nightly bedtime routine.  As you read the story ask questions related to the book and have your child identify the objects in pictures.  This will also help improve vocabulary.

2.     Narrate Your Day

When you are out and about with your child talk to them about what you are both seeing.  Get descriptive, like “The red car is going very fast!”  When you are at the playground, talk to your child about what they are doing, “Katie is sliding down the big green slide.”

3.     Play I-Spy      

I-Spy is a fun and easy way to work on adjectives, prepositions, sentence structure, and vocabulary with your toddler.  While playing I-Spy, use prepositions and adjectives to make sentences with your toddler.   For example, “I spy something under the table that is blue.”

4.     Act It Out

Put verbs in a hat and take turns with your toddler acting out the verbs.  This is a great and fun way for your child to learn new verbs!

5.     Give Options

When it’s snack time ask your child, “Do you want goldfish or an orange?”  This will give your toddler opportunity to point or use his/her words to choose a snack.  

6.     Sing

Singing is an activity that the whole family can enjoy together.  This will help build your child’s communication skills and is a great way to introduce new vocabulary such as nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

7.     Encourage Details

Add details to what your toddler says.  If he/she says “Dog” then you can add “Yes, that is a dog.  It’s small, black, and fluffy!”

8.     Play Time

Use puppets, toys, or stuffed animals and have your child make up a play, scene, or scenario and act it out with them.

9.     Places and Things

Point out different objects and places within your home or other settings (i.e. grocery store, waiting room at doctor’s office, playground) and have your toddler label each object or place.   This will help build your toddlers vocabulary.

These activities are easy to incorporate into your daily life and will give you and your toddler special time together.  If you have concerns about your toddler’s communication skills it is important to contact your pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist.  Early intervention is an integral part of the process and can drastically improve their child’s outcomes of success later in life. 

Additionally, feel free to contact In-Home Speech Solutions if you have questions or concerns we can help answer.

Jennifer Price M.S., CCC-SLP Lead Speech-Language Pathologist & Owner