May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month and here are a few tips from the therapists at Easter Seals Greater Houston’s Children’s Therapy Program, obtained from the urbanchildinstitute.org to utilize when interacting with children to build language development.
Common play for babies includes peek-a-boo, singing and dancing, playing with different colored balls, and pushing buttons to make toys work. Through their play, they can develop language comprehension, communication skills, and eye-hand coordination. When parents respond and participate, children also gain a sense of their own self-worth from the pleasure they give their parents.
Toddlers take giant leaps in playing and learning. They learn to stand and walk, run and jump, play with more complex toys, and create worlds of make-believe. They learn numbers, shapes, and colors. Sharing books and games with parents builds close relationships as they discover the world together. Toddlers begin to play together rather than just watching each other play. Through playing with others, they learn to share and to take turns. These are the years when their imaginations go wild. Toy brooms become horses, they pretend to be kings or queens, and they engage in pretend play with others. Play promotes creativity, language ability, self-control, and problem-solving skills.
At Easter Seals Children’s Therapy Program we use play as one of our many techniques to enhance the children’s language acquisition. Parents are encouraged to participate and learn with their child as we “play” our way to improved language skills.
But, regardless of how old your child is, there is one fact that should never be forgotten: the most important thing about play is you, and nothing is more important to children than their parents’ undivided attention and spontaneous fun.
To learn about the key growth areas most important in your child’s development, check out Easter Seals Make the First Five Count – Define Five and to check to help guide and keep track of your child’s growth and development during these first five years, take advantage of Easter Seals free, comprehensive and confidential online screening tool at Make The First Five Count.