The Importance of Small Talk

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In your eagerness to stimulate your child's development, don't feel compelled to respond to every vocalization he makes. Your 2-year-old may provide a running commentary to much of his play in the form of words and sound effects. Also, you might hear him practicing words while he's lying in bed, at night or early in the morning when he first wakes. Learning involves repetition, and your child may frequently repeat words and phrases to himself in a kind of verbal exercise session.

During this year, your child will begin to address a wider audience. She'll move from talking mostly to an adult or to herself to directing her vocalizations at peers. Therefore, providing your child with opportunities to play with other children will help stimulate her language skills, especially if she has no verbal siblings to vocalize with.

Nursery rhymes and sing-along songs that introduce simple concepts and repeat key phrases, like "Old MacDonald's Farm," can also help to enrich your child's vocabulary. As she nears age 3, you can start to play guessing games such as "Who am I?" In this game, one person says, for example, "I live on a farm. I'm black and white, or maybe brown, and I make milk and eat grass. Who am I?"

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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