In the best circumstances, your child is able to tell you what he wants or needs. Whether you provide it totally depends on the request, of course, but the communication skills are there. When you’re dealing with a toddler speech delay, though, the communication part becomes a struggle. Whether you’re working with a speech therapist or working through it on your own, there are a few exercises to help with a toddler speech delay that you can do at home.
Exercises to Help with a Toddler Speech Delay
Flashcards: You can purchase flashcards from a store or if you are artistic, you can create them yourself. Set a few minutes aside each day at a time, you will quickly learn your toddler can only sit and look at pictures for so long with you! You can do this exercise a few times a day. Show the card, say what it is, and wait for your child to repeat. Be patient.
Mirror exercises: This literally means in front of a mirror. Your child might be having difficulty because they are unaware of how to move their mouths to make the correct sounds come out. Stand in front of a mirror with your child and go through a few words.
Lily Pad Hop: This will be a fun one! If you have any art skills, you can draw the pictures, otherwise you can print some off line. Cut out lilypads on green construction paper. You can tailor this game to different holidays too! Hearts for Valentine’s Day or Christmas ornaments. Create 6 of whatever shape you are using and have the same picture on each one. Repetition is key. Have your child hop to each one. Once he lands, he has to say the word that goes with the picture.
Read and repeat: Choose a simple book and read with your child. Ask your child to repeat certain words. Be sure to read slowly. You can also look at the pictures and point to something and ask your child to tell you what it is. Reading is always beneficial to development, take the extra step and talk to your child about what you are reading
Talk slowly: When speaking to your child, make the extra effort to speak slowly. They will be able to hear what you are saying and watch your mouth movements. We tend to speak very fast, even to children and when they are learning to talk, that can be difficult for them to comprehend. It may feel odd to you, but think of how difficult daily life is for your child.
When your child is not progressing as you feel he should, it can be frustrating and sad as a parent. You feel responsible for his delay. Don’t feel responsible, but know you can help him. Make it fun, make practicing a game. Pay attention when you speak to your child and remember to look at him, rather than have your back to him, let him see your lips.
Are you a parent dealing with a toddler speech delay? What sort of exercises did you do to practice with your child? Share your tips with us below!