Create a Language Rich Environment – Once your child is using their first words and phrases, think about what the language that they hear and use on a daily basis. Try keeping a journal for a week writing down the words and phrases you overhear your child using. Not only will this give you insight into their level of language development (e.g. variety of words used and length of sentences), it serves as a beautiful memento of their early expressions to read with your child as they get older. Once you have knowledge of their language level you can establish how best to enrich their language. Think about what is missing from their expressions., dDo they frequently leave words or sounds out? If so, repeat the expression back to them highlighting the missing sound or word. Do they tend to use the same words or phrases over and over? Repeat the phrase back to them but add a new word to it or offer a choice (e.g. I want car…Do you want a big car or a little car?). Older children often benefit from descriptions of how or why we do things and expansions on common word categories or word definitions (e.g. Category “dog”: dalmationDalmatian, poodle, Chihuahua; Definition – a dalmationDalmatian is a white dog with black spots).

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