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Today I'm excited to have Stef from the amazing AskaNanny.com here to guest post for us with some very helpful tips on encouraging early language development in the home!
Design Your Home to Encourage Early Language Development
I am a firm believer that a child’s environment plays just as an important role as a parent in development. Even before they can talk children are hard at work observing what makes up their world (which when they are babies and toddlers is basically the room or house around them), what you place in it and how you do so.
There is a focus and value you can add to language development by celebrating books, words, and a diverse vocabulary throughout your home. If your child sees you place value on a concept or idea then it will be inherently important to them - just like any other value you bestow such as kindness or sympathy.
Here are 3 easy ways to adapt your environment to support early language development:
1. Books are important, read often, celebrated, displayed and respected. Simply put if you want your child to love reading you must show them that books are important and have them available to them and always around and be read to on a daily basis. That also goes for adult books as well. They should see you read! and your books displayed as special and important parts of your home.
2. If you want to build a strong vocabulary (which will directly translate into a strong brain muscle) offer a variety of diverse things to talk about and share within their environment. Listening to you say new and different words strengthens their receptive language and their brain in the early years which is the basis for all language development in the future.
3. Surround them with letters, words and text. This is important for language development but also for reading as well. (Experts call this an emergent literary development or pre-reading skill building.) Exposure via labeling, abcs, their name and their initials at their level without pressure or pretense from an adult makes text and our language a normal part of their every day life. Since children are whole body learners, when they can associate an actual object with the word that represents it they will retain this information longer and stronger even before they can read because of both the physical and cognitive connections made.
Lastly there is the best tool of all for future language development is you! Talking to your baby and developing their receptive language is FREE and you can take it where ever you go! So go chat it up!
Stef Tousignant is a mom, professional nanny, and blogger helping parents of babies and toddlers on AskaNanny.com by cutting out the trial and error of the first years with customized answers to the most perplexing parenting questions. Just real support for parents of real kids. Email her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Facebook or Twitter #thenannyisin