I thought I would answer a question that we regularly receive: How do you get the girls to learn so many words?
Can we admit that the idea of helping your little one learn language can seem like, well, a lot! There’s so much to learn and everyone seems to have an opinion on what words children should learn first. Someone thinks farm animals, another thinks body parts, another believes it’s shapes…so what did we do? First, don’t worry about what others think, actually, don’t fret at all (unless your doctor expresses concern).
We don’t sit the girls down for a half-hour every day and go over words. We just follow their lead and interests (which happen to be farm animals) and they learn from just normal day-to-day talk. They point and we tell them what something is–you’d be surprised at what your children pick up.
-No rush and no goal. Take the stress off imaginary deadlines and just enjoy. Your child doesn’t need to know the alphabet by age 2, be able to count to five, or know their colours. When they point and tell you “nose” or “eye” just enjoy it.
-Hubby would play a game. He’d hold one of the girls, they would point in a direction and he would go while telling them where they were pointing. “We are heading to the door. Now, where would you like to go? Outside? Okay! To the blackberry bushes? Okay. Look at how tall the weeds are…”
-Repetition. We regularly repeat words back to them. When they hand us a book, “Yes, I’d love to read the book to you.” Getting ready: “Let’s grab your pants. Here are your blue pants! Let’s put your blue pants on. Would you like to sit down to put on your pants?”
-Help provide the words. This goes for emotions and items. When someone is pointing up at the counter we don’t just hand something over, we ask about specific items. “Would you like the banana?” Often there’s a nod and then, “nana.”
-Name everything and encourage asking. I want E and V to always feel comfortable asking questions, always. Whenever they ask what something is, even if I’ve already told them a hundred times, I tell them again.