Speech Therapy 101, Inc. - Empowering Parents

Toddler Talking Tips for Parents!


1) Read, Read, Read! Choose colorful books with large simple photos or drawings. Talk about the pictures rather than reading the text.  

2) Wait, Wait, Wait!  Don’t anticipate our child’s needs. Delay your response to your child’s pointing, gestures or babbling when he wants things. Pretend you don’t understand what he wants. Allow enough time for him to process information and find the words that he needs to say.  

3) Self Talk.Talk out-loud about what you are seeing, hearing, doing and feeling when your child is in earshot, this will help increase receptive language.  

4) Parallel Talk.Talk out-loud about what is happening to your child. Describe what he is doing, seeing, hearing and feeling when he is in earshot.  

5) Praise your child. Respond to your child’s speech attempts with non-verbal and verbal praise. This will encourage his to try and communicate more.  

6) Expansion Modeling. Try and add one to two words to what our child says when responding back to him. For Example: Child says “daddy” and you say “daddy home.” 

7) Sing to your child. Children love music! Songs promote vocal play, imitation, attention, listening and speech. For example: “The Itisy Bitsy Spider,” “Twinkle, Twinkle little star” or “The Wheels on The Bus.”  

8) Use Sign Language.The use of sign language can help bridge the gap between language and speech. Sign language has been found to encourage language development not hinder it. It improves IQ by 13 points!  

9) Ask open-ended questions. You want to encourage your child to use his words and to avoid answering yes/no questions. For example ask; “What do you want?” as opposed to “Do you want the ball?”  

10) Don’t pressure your child.Communication should be fun and interactive. Don’t ask your child more than 3 times to answer a question. Children tune out when they feel pressured.


Preschool Interactive Websites!


iphone Application for AAC

Panda Pal PECS is an iPad application that is designed to help children with speech and language deficits communicate. view www.Pandapal.com for more information.


 Toys to improve Language Development:  

Bubbles: $1.oo at your local Walgreens!

No-spill bubble containers changed my life!  I love the smaller ones with characters on the sticks that kids recognize. I do not use the automatic blower types because I  want kids to learn to blow.  Imitating blowing is a great way to get toddlers to start to imitate any kind of mouth movement.    

Target words - bubbles, pop, more, mine, please, blow, all gone, wet, yucky, in, out, plus character names.  


"My First Touch and Feel Picture Cards": $10.oo at Barns and Nobles, by Dk Publishing

These cards have texture for the kids to touch and feel, which keeps their interest. “First Words”or "First Animals" are the most popular among the toddlers! You can work on receptive language by having the child "touch the duck," while holding up 2 picture cards or work on expressive language by having the child label the cards. For example, an early talker "quack-quack" or a more advanced talker "I see a yellow duck!"


Mr. potato head: $6.oo at your local Walgreens.

This is a basic vocabulary building activity since you can target body parts and basic clothing items such as hats and shoes. Get Tupperware boxes so you can keep all of your accessories together.  

Target words – eyes, nose, mouth, arms, ears, shoes, hat, up, down, go, walk and jump.  


Puzzles: $3.oo- 10.oo at Toy stores near you!

Most toddlers love to do puzzles. Puzzles are also great for targeting receptive and expressive language.  After you’ve had your child name the piece going in (or choosing from a choice of 2 is even better), you can have him, “Get the _____,” to clean up the pieces.  You can expand receptive language more by asking him tougher questions, “Which one says moo?”  “Which one flies?”  “Which one goes in the water?”  “Which one do you wear on your feet?”  You can also have him request the puzzle pieces to improve expressive vocabulary skills.               


Baby Dolls: $3.oo- 15.oo at Toy Stores near you!

This is the very best and easiest early pretend activity you can do.  My basic set includes cups, spoons, a fork, bowl/plate, bottles of milk and juice, blanket, carrier, brush, hats, shirts, socks or s and of course plastic food (healthy only!).  There are so many things you can use this for to target both receptive and expressive language.  You can give lots of directions, “Feed the baby” or "Baby wants milk."  You can expand to higher level receptive concepts, “She’s sleepy.  What should she do?”  You can have your child request for every single thing you’re going to do with the dolls.  It’s endless and a must-have activity for every toddler.  

Target Words- baby, (all of the nouns/names for all of the accessories you’re using), plus all of the verbs/action words you can do with dolls - wash, eat, sleep, drink, jump, walk, dance, swing, night-night, etc…, plus the prepositions/location words you can target - clothing items can be put on/off, baby can be put in/out of various things, baby can climb up, fall down, etc….   Descriptive Words - big, little, wet, dry, yucky, stinky, pretty, etc…   


Farm Animals: $1.oo- 5.oo at Toy stores near you!

All kids love animals! I use animals for every age group. My 12 month old's can improve receptive skills by identifying animals or improve their speech development by imitating animal sounds. Imitating animal sounds target consonant vowel (CV) or consonant vowel consonant vowel (CVCV) words combinations. For example, "moo," "woof," "baa-baa," "neigh" or "oi-oink." Targets basic sounds, /b/, /m/, /n/ & /w/.