Respond to infants’ babbles. When infants make sounds, respond to them. When you do this, it encourages them to use sounds to communicate. Pause between responses so that the babies can have a chance to react and answer. This helps tykes learn that taking turns is part of communicating with others.
Use facial expressions when you communicate. Babies love to look at the faces of their caregivers. When you talk to infants and respond to their babbles, use exaggerated facial expressions to convey emotion. Don’t make any scary faces that will traumatize infants. Instead, do things like smile a little bigger, raise your eyebrows a bit higher, or widen your eyes just a bit when you talk.
Sing songs, play games and do finger plays. Infants love to listen to you sing to them. They don’t care how bad you sound. When you sing to babies, you expose them to many different words and sounds. This can help foster language development. You can sing old time favorites, or make up your own songs. In addition to singing, do finger plays like the itsy bitsy spider, and play games like peek-a-boo. Doing these things can encourage interaction, boost brain development, and expand infants’ verbal experiences.
Read books to babies as often as possible. Reading to infants is one of the most important things you can do to foster language development. The more you read, the more words and sounds they are exposed to. These words and sounds teach tykes about communication, helps them build their listening skills, and boosts their vocabularies.
When you do things like sing songs, play games, read stories, hold conversations, and respond to babbles, you surround infants with the language-rich environment they need to build vocabulary and foster language development.
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