Jamie Loehr, M.D. and Jen Meyers, authors of "Raising Your Child," suggest these simple activities to get your child talking.
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Read to Your Child
Read, read, read and then read some more! Talk about the illustrations when you're looking at books together. Ask him to point out specific objects on the page. Read alphabet books to lay the foundation for learning the ABCs.
Have Him Describe A Story To You
Encourage your toddler to turn the pages of a book and describe the story to you. He will tell a simple story. He might say "moo" or use his hangs to show you how the chicken is eating food, but it gets him involved in the storytelling process. The more stories he tells, the better his language skills will develop.
Encourage Intelligent Conversation
Talk with your child like he's an intelligent person. (He is!) Consciously hold a conversation with him. Ask his opinions, likes, and dislikes. Listen intently when he talks to you. Respond in a manner that shows you understand what he's saying. Repeat what he says back to him, not only to model appropriate articulation but also to model good listening skills.
Use Complete Sentences
Help expand your child's language abilities by speaking to him in complete sentences. If he asks, "More?" and points to the crackers, say to him, "You want to have more crackers." Model for him correct word order and clear pronunciation.
Practice Using the Telephone
Play with a toy telephone. Soon your child will be picking up the phone and saying, "Hello." (pause) "Good." (pause) "Bye-bye!"
Raising Your Child
Raising Your Child: The Complete Illustrated Guide is an information-packed guide that leads parents through the ever changing maze of new behaviors, developments, and challenges present in a child's first six years. It is filled with essential information, expert advice, practical solutions, and key choices to ensure a child's healthy development for their first six years -- and set them up for success in later developmental stages. In addition to understanding their child's stage of development, readers are given parenting techniques and activities they can use with their child to maximize physical, emotional, intellectual, and behavioral development at every age and stage.
More Activities for 12-18 Month Toddlers
Get more ideas from Raising Your Child: The Complete Illustrated Guide to help with your toddler's development.