Ways To Improve Your Toddler's Speech At Home
If your toddler is struggling to say sounds and speak clearly, you might be worried that he or she may have a speech delay. While many toddlers struggle to say all the sounds of the alphabet the right way, there are things you can do at home that can help your toddler improve his or her speech. Here are some good ideas you could try at home to help your child improve his or her speech.
Read to Your Child
Reading to a child is one of the best ways to help a child with speech problems. When you read to a child, he or she will hear you pronounce words and sounds the right way. Reading exposes children to new words and helps them think creatively. Research also shows that children are less likely to drop out of school if they were read to often when they were young. Reading to kids is also great for a child's brain, and it actually helps the child's brain develop properly. There are so many benefits of reading, and it can help with your child's speech too. As you read, you can ask the child to repeat words or sounds to get your child to interact more during books.
Playing with your child is also a great way to develop the child's speech, especially if you do this purposefully. For example, you could take out some play-doh to play with. As you do this, make repetitious sounds that you want your child to repeat. You could push down on the play-doh and say "push, push, push." As you do this, the child is likely to copy you. You could use a variety of different sounds and encourage your child to repeat them.
One other good habit to develop is overexaggerating sounds. For example, if your child is having trouble saying the "f" sounds, place your upper teeth far over your bottom lip as you pronounce this sound and have your child look at you. You could then ask him or her to try this. If you child is having trouble saying sounds, it is likely because he or she does not know how to hold his or her mouth to make this particular sound. Overexaggerating sounds can help with this.
If you are concerned with your child's speech development, you should talk to your pediatrician. He or she may recommend taking your child to speech therapy for extra help. You can also contact local clinics that offer speech therapy, like Physical Therapy Institute, if you have more questions.