6 fast tips to help your toddler get talking.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Your Toddler as an Apprentice ‘Wordmagician’
Here is a wonderful article on ‘The Science Behind Toddler Language Development’ by my great pal across the pond Dr. Lynne Kenney.
“If you have a child approaching three years of age, you hear daily, that he is becoming a Wordmagician. Just 6 months ago, he was communicating primarily with simple two word combinations and gestures, but now, comes the magic. With two to three words and more rolling off his tongue, he may soon be communicating up a storm.
Since toddlers often understand five times more words than they can speak, they are generally much smarter than they sound, and therefore frequently under-estimated. Language skills develop rapidly in the first three years of life as the neurons connect previously untraveled roads into complex neuronal highways. At 24 months your child is becoming a conversationalist, by 36 months he is becoming a wordmagician.
The Chart above gives you the language development milestones for 0-36 months.
Baby Brain Development is Exponential
At birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons, roughly as many nerve cells as there are stars in the Milky Way, and almost all the neurons the brain will ever have. The brain starts forming prenatally, about three weeks after conception. Before birth, the brain produces trillions more neurons and “synapses” (connections between the brain cells) than it needs. During the first years of life, the brain undergoes a series of extraordinary changes.
In the brain, the neurons are there at birth, as well as some synapses. As the neurons mature, more and more synapses are made. At birth, the number of synapses per neuron is 2,500, but by age two or three, it’s about 15,000 per neuron. The brain eliminates connections that are seldom or never used, which is a normal part of brain development. (University of Maine)
The language centers of toddlers grow and connect based on life experience. The more a given neuronal tract is used, the better it develops. That is why we wish to talk face to face to infants, narrate what we are doing with 12-36 month olds and read, sing and rhyme with toddlers beginning at 9-12 months of age.
How can you foster early language development in little ones? Here are 6 easy ideas:
0-3 months. Hold the infant in your arms, as though the infant is feeding and smile, coo and make gentle facial expressions to your little one. Infant gaze develops as a precursor to language development so holding baby near and speaking in a soft loving voice is beloved by newborns.
3-4 months. Baby can now hold his head up on his own, so you can sit him facing toward you, on your lap and talk, sing and play with him. Hold his body securely and talk or sing in rhyme and rhythm to him.
6-8 months. It’s tummy time. Spend time at floor level with your little one talking as you pass toys between you. Baby is starting to love cause and effect, so he giggles when you make the block appear and disappear.
To read the full article and advice click on the link