How to Encourage your Toddler to Talk

Molly is still having her temper tantrums from time to time and I am well aware these are probably going to last a while with the terrible two’s in full swing. Sometimes she is just the most well behaved little girl and then suddenly a tantrum can strike, but I can understand why she has tantrums which is making them a whole lot easier to deal with. Whilst she is learning to talk, she can not always find the words she needs and this results in her stressing out quickly and throwing a temper tantrum.

I have been really trying to encourage her to talk through these times of upset to help us resolve the issue quickly. When she is talking well, using new words and practicing how to make the correct sounds I praise her and let her know that her speech is understandable and I react to what she is saying so hopefully she learns that the best way to communicate her feelings and needs is by telling me. When she is frustrated I ask her to use her words so that I can understand and try to simply explain that I do not understand what she wants from her tantrums. I am mindful not to over talk though and just keep to the point not to aggravate the situation even more.

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I talk to Molly all day long! I explain myself, comment on her play and say my random thoughts out loud so she is constantly hearing new words and sentence structure. Throughout the day I am trying to expand her vocabulary further by constantly telling her what I am doing so she can associate the words with actions and also describe my surroundings. I use this when we are out too.

This weekend we visited a soft play centre. Whilst playing about in the ball pit I described the colours of the balls and counted them. Having done this for about a month now Molly recognises most colours and can count to five.

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Whatever we are doing I try to expand on words and attach another word into her sentence, so if she asks for her toy I describe the colour and shape of the toy or any sounds, and ask her if she can say those words too and show me. When she repeats my words I listen carefully and praise her efforts. I try and make her feel as comfortable as I can with saying new words and syllables to bring her more confidence in this area. If I think there is a sound she is struggling with then I ask her to look at my mouth as I exaggerate the way I am saying it.

I am trying to make learning fun so am thinking of games we can play too. I recently laid all the puzzle pieces out on the floor and as I shouted out the name of a piece Molly ran and found the matching one. This could be used for colours, shapes, objects or animals. When I played this game with my five year old niece I made it slightly harder by asking her to find a puzzle piece that started with a particular letter.

I know we both have to be patient and Molly’s speech will develop so I never tell her off or put her down and give her space so she can talk when she is ready, I just try to let her know that I am always ready to listen. Hopefully this will encourage her and reduce the amount of tantrums she has.

I have found doing these little things, especially describing actions as well as objects has really brought her speech on and recently I have noticed how well she is doing with using her words and communicating clearly with myself and others.

Now we have gathered a basis of our vocabulary we are now starting to sing nursery rhymes together, it’s one of my most favourite things to do at the moment. We work on a couple songs at a time and she is really getting the hang of rhythm and pitch. She loves to sing Let It Go from Frozen but I enjoy Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with her. She just melts my heart! I am so proud of how far she has come along and the effort she is putting in.

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