Singing with your toddler is a great way to connect with them and has lots of benefits for their language development. Here are three reasons why I recommend singing with your late talker!
Kids learn language through repetition. Songs are a great way to encourage repetition as often the verse repeats many times, and if your toddler likes the song, they will want to sing it over and over! This repetition can also help children know what to expect, so they can sing along and eventually fill in the missing word. To encourage this, pause before the last word in the verse. For example: “If your happy and you know it clap your …..” wait to see if your toddler will finish the phrase. Show them your hands to help cue them. By slowing down and pausing, this gives your toddler the opportunity to fill in the missing words and sing along with you!
Kids learn language best when they are paying attention to the words they are hearing. Songs are a great way of gaining children’s attention. If you are animated and silly, that’s even better! Sing songs that your child is the most interested in, or make up your own song based on what they like to do! As your child learns the songs, they may eventually be able to participate in the song by making actions, facial expressions, sounds or words!
3. ENCOURAGES GESTURES
In order for kids to learn to talk, they need to learn to copy, or imitate us. We want them to imitate our words so they will eventually be able to use words on their own. If imitating words is still difficult for them, encouraging them to imitate gestures is a great way to practice the skill of imitation in a way that is easier for them. Sing songs with gestures and help them make the gesture if needed. Encouraging your late talker to use more gestures can help improve their ability to imitate, communicate, and eventually use words!
Here are some ideas for songs to sing with late talkers:
- If you’re happy and you know it
- Help them do the gestures!
- 5 Little Monkeys
- Jump with them to make it more fun!
- Row Your Boat
- Put them on your lap and move their arms to row the boat
- Old MacDonald
- Be silly to encourage them to copy your animal sounds
- Clean Up Song
- A great way to cue them that it’s time to clean up