Humans are social beings. We use communication to share information, express thoughts, values, needs and wants. Even our little ones are hard wired to communicate with us from the moment they are born.
What does communication look like for each age group?
Newborn babies have different cries which is a unanimous form of communication. Most parents would be able to identify between a hungry cry and a painful cry even if the child was not their own. Over the following few months this evolves into the exchange of coos, gurgles and squeaks that baby shares with their caregiver.
Hold the Double Maraca ($10.50, recommended age 0 months +) close to bubs face and share their enjoyment as they discover the colours and noises that this gentle rattle makes. Watch them communicate with you through gurgles and copying your facial expressions.
By ten months, baby has more control over his “voice”, chatting with tones that are appropriate for context; high pitched quick sounds when he is excited and lower drawn out tones when he is content.
The cute little Teething Worm ($7.00, recommended age 10 months +) is not only great for sore gums but also for teaching your little ones colours!
At one year of age, baby should be saying “mama” or/and “dada” and know who they are referring to.
Our new Small Wooden Xylophone ($22.00, recommended age 12 months +) is perfect for creative expression and music; sing along to your favourite nursery rhymes.
Come 18 months of age, baby should be able to say approximately 50 words. This includes, names, objects, feelings, places, colours etc. 50 does sound like a big number but when you write all of the words down they do add up quickly. Typically a toddler will be learning 5-6 new words each week. They are now starting to hold conversations and follow two step requests.
The Baguette Set ($28.00, recommended age 18 months +) is perfect for building vocabulary for names of foods while practising role play: take turns ordering a healthy sandwich!
Between 18 and 24 months of age your toddler’s vocabulary usually jumps from 50 words to 200-300!
Our 53 Piece Farm Set ($109, recommended age 24 months +) is perfect for encouraging the development of different phonemes (sounds) through practising animal sounds.
From 2 to 3 years your child’s vocabulary triples to 1000 words! At this age they can generally communicate what they wish to say with ease.
We recommend the Pirate Play Set ($63.00, recommended age 3 years +) to provide opportunities for social and creative play.
How can I help develop my child’s speech and communication?
The best tool that you may present to your child to assist in speech development is YOU!
Turn off TVs, minimise background noise and make time to read and play with your child. Speech and language are learned skills; they are developed through social interaction, observation, listening, attending and most importantly through structured and unstructured play time.
All these elements together are a recipe to encourage healthy development of speech and language. Stay tuned for our Top 5 Tips in aiding your child in developing their speech and language skills!
– Dani Davidson
LWT Toy Rep