Category Archives: Language Development

Introducing ABC and 123


Alphabet (Photo credit: james.swenson13)

From the moment baby is born, his brain is starting to work overtime. We are wrong to think that all they do during the first weeks are eat and sleep and fill the diaper. Every interaction we do with the baby stimulates his intelligence. Little by little he recognizes mother’s voice and touch. He knows when it is time to feed him or time for bath. It is important to stimulate the baby’s brain as early as the first weeks to brace them up for more exercises the following months. Introduce those colors and sounds. You’d be surprise how early they will interact and know the ABCs and 123s.

Teaching them alphabets and counting does not require any age. As long as you think they can comprehend already, then you will know it is time. Make your nursery feel like a pre-school room. Attach alphabet posters on the wall. The more colorful it is, the more your child will notice the pictures. Show her books about numbers. Do it with a little story. You can do this in the morning when the baby is all up for a little chat and play with mommy. Recite the alphabet while you point each letter. But do not overdo it for it might stress your little tot. You can increase the time of play every day. Just be sensitive with your baby’s needs. It might tire him a bit. So you will know it is time for bath when he is not paying attention anymore.

Don’t get tired saying the letters or the numbers every day. Just a little attention from them would mean so much in the stimulation for intelligence. Do not frustrate yourself when the baby is not cooperating for that day because there might be other thing that interests him. Always be alert of what caught your baby’s attention. It might be the colorful building blocks on the other side of the room or just the nursery rhyme with a video playing in the television.

Every child learns with a different pace. You cannot expect yours to be the same with the other’s intelligence. Genetic and environment is very important. However, with moms as persistent and supportive as you are, child will learn faster and easier. The use of flashcards and posters are a big help in stimulating baby’s brain. Sing him songs, bring him around. Different people and places will catch his attention and make his brain work. Count things in front of him when you are working around the house. Do not bother yourself if he is not listening. Just recite the numbers and the alphabets. You see in a few more months, you will be surprise at how much he knows.

It is often requires a lot of time and effort on the part of mom and dad in stimulating every child’s social and intellectual development. It is during the toddler years that the child needs all the support he can get. Introducing the basics in education will turn out to be a lovely activity if not pushed too much by parents. Remember that you are not only honing his intelligence, you are also developing his emotional skill. You don’t want to sacrifice his trust on you by being too aggressive.

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By Isabel R


Tips on Language Development in Young Children

Language development in children is crucial. Ability to speak smoothly and communicate freely is one of the key components of success in life. Is there anything you can do to help your child to develop this essential skill? You certainly can. So, take a look at several practical tips on how to develop speaking ability of your kids.

Scientists have discovered several interesting facts about the connection of language development in children with motor function of their fingers and palms. These facts would help us to teach our kids to speak fluently and develop their speaking skill to the most.

Facts on language development:

· When children are trying hard to express themselves and have times finding right words, they strain their fingers and palms

· Kids with low level of language development retain muscle strain in their fingers, palms and hands for a long period of time. Often times, they are unable to strain one hand without straining the other one, even reaching 6+ years in age

These simple scientific facts show direct connection between motor functions of our palms and fingers with language development. This means, if we can stimulate motor function and fingers of young children, we can directly impact their language development, too.

Tips on stimulating finger motor function:

There are many simple and fun ways you can use to stimulate language development of your child through stimulating finger motor function. Playing finger games is one of them. You can start at a very early age. These simple games or techniques can be used even for 6 months old babies.

· Gently massage finger tips

This is one of the first and simplest ways to stimulate finger motor function. Gently massage finger tips of your baby. Do gentle circling motions and then rub the entire finger going from the palm and to the finger tip. Most babies simply love such massage.

· Count fingers, rubbing them

There are many kids’ poems you can use, counting their fingers and gently rubbing them. You may help your child to ball the fingers and then unclench them one by one.

· Supply your child with soft toys with different surfaces. You can use special cubes, where each side is made of different fabric: some soft, some smooth, some harsh, etc. You can stitch pieces of lace to such cubes or balls. This way, your child fingers different types of fabrics and surfaces. They provide additional massage for finger tips and stimulate their motor function.

· For an older child, you may want to give them a pen to roll between their two palms. Or, give them a ball to roll on the palms. You can also use clay, putty or modeling dough to roll balls or sticks out of it. It provides great stimulation of palms’ and fingers’ motor functions for language development.

Applying these simple language development techniques, you will soon start noticing speaking development progress in your child. If you compare such progress with other children, you would be surprised to see the difference in their language development levels.

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By Elena Razinkova

Reading to Your Child to Stimulate Language Development

English: Group of children in a primary school...

English: Group of children in a primary school in Paris Español: Niños en una escuela elemental en París Français : Enfants dans une école élémentaire à Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the best activities you can do with your children to encourage language acquisition is reading together. I started reading to my children when they were two or three months old. The first books we read were bright and colorful board books with a single word or short sentence per page. We soon progressed to books of nursery rhymes and books that were illustrated songs. Although my babies didn’t understand the words at first, they enjoyed the bright pictures, the rhythm of the words, rhymes, and songs, and the cuddling with Mommy. Story time became a treasured part of the day for both of us.

Most parents know that reading to their children is very important. But did you know that reading straight through the book from beginning to end is not always the very best way to stimulate your child’s language skills? Studies have shown that when children are engaged more actively in reading, their vocabulary, comprehension, and language expression are greatly improved. Here are some ideas for new ways to read a book:

1. Point to pictures and name them. Ask your child to name the pictures. Action words and adjectives can be labeled as well. You could ask, “Can you find an animal that is tall?” or “What is that girl doing?”

2. After you read a page, ask questions about the story. The simplest questions are factual ones…”Who said…?” “What happened…?” More difficult are “why” questions.

3. Ask, “What do you think will happen next?”

4. Have your child retell the story after you finish reading it (narration).

5. Have your child tell you the story by looking at the pictures. Or the two of you alternate pages, making up a story to go with the pictures.

6. Interrupt your reading occasionally to comment on the story or setting or to explain a concept or define a word.

7. Read expressively!

8. Rhymes and songs are wonderful for language development–even if you can’t carry a tune!

Most importantly, keep reading fun! Use these suggestions to enhance your storytime, not to turn it into a lesson. Enjoy the time spent with your child. Snuggling up on the couch and reading together has always been one of my favorite ways to spend time with my children.

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By Deborah Lott

Speech and Language: How to Help Your Child Develop

How would you decide whether your child’s language development is on track? As communication is the basis of success in life and at work, emphasis should be given early on to assess the level of your child’s control over his or her strength in managing language. This is especially true for special needs children who have either autism, asperger syndrome, learning disabilities, ADHD and down syndrome. Many may also have learning problems and intelligence that is below average.

Children playing in a push car. An instance wh...

Children playing in a push car. An instance where “vroom” may be used during play in early language development (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children with Asperger syndrome have milder symptoms affecting social interaction and behavior. Their language development is usually alright but, they can have problems certain aspects of language, for example, understanding humor. Their intelligence is usually above-average. Some are skillful in memory, logic and creativity, example in music, art, and pure sciences. For children with learning disabilities and ADHD (sometimes these two conditions can occur together) paying attention and staying focused is a problem. Those who are hyperactive will have trouble staying still and can turn classrooms into chaos. Dyslexic children are those who could not read very well, could not construct sentences and have trouble with writing letters backwards. With down syndrome children, you are looking at different level of mental retardation, though some of them can speak quite well. Intelligence will unfortunately affect the way a person picks up language and learn new things. So overall we are looking at early detection and then intervention for children at a young age. Detecting problems early on have been proven to be an effective way to manage and control language and other difficulties.

If you are unsure of your child’s language development, these red flags may helped put things in perspective. You can use the report presented below as a guideline, but for better understanding your child’s needs, it is better to consult a professional.

1). By 12 months your child does not babble; does not use gestures like waving “bye bye” or shaking head for “no”; does not respond to her name; does not communicate in some way when she needs help.

2). By 15 months your child does not understand and respond to words like “no” and “up”; says no words; does not point to objects or pictures when ask: “Where is the… ?”; does not point to things of interest as if to say: “Look at that!” and then look at you.

3). By 18 months your child does not understand simple commands like “Don’t touch”; is not using at least 20 single words like “Mummy” or “up”; does not respond with a word or gesture to a question such as “Where’s your shoe?”; cannot point to two or three major body parts such as head, nose, eyes, feet.

4). By 24 months your child says fewer than 100 words; is not consistently joining two words together like “Daddy go” or “no “shoes”; does not imitate actions or words; does not pretend with toys, such as feeding a doll.

5). By 30 months your child says fewer than 300 words; is not using action words like “run”, “eat”; is not using some adult grammar, like “two babies” and “doggie sleeping”.

6). By three years your child does not ask questions; is not using sentences (e.g. “I don’t want that” or “my truck is broken”).

7). By five years your child is not able to tell a simple story.

If you are concerned about your child’s language development, one of the things you can do is to consult a speech language pathologist (SLP). It is discovered that, from data taken from the United States has pointed to about 5 – 8% of preschool children experiencing language delays which continue into adulthood. So it is best to get an earlier diagnosis and a program in place to help train and guide your child as soon as possible.

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By Ashley Jane Tan