Activities to Encourage Language Development: 12-18 Months

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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Kathryn Gamble

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.

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Kathryn Gamble

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.

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Kathryn Gamble

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.

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Kathryn Gamble

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.

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Kathryn Gamble

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!"

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Sing Songs

Sing songs with your child. Listen to music. Soon he'll be singing along! Listen to local musicians. Find a children's musician and start listening to her music at home. Attend a concert with your toddler. He will be excited to realize that he already knows the words!

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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.

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Kathryn Gamble

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.

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