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Activities to Encourage First Words

Listen for everyday sounds and ask your child, “What’s that?”. Encourage your child to listen carefully and to guess what is making the sound. Then track it down and discover the source of the sound.

Stand toys, one at a time on the lid of the box. When your child is watching make the toys fall into the box and exclaim “Gone!”.

When playing with blocks, make the most of opportunities to use words like “up”, “more”, and “all fall down”.

Have a tea party with all the dolls and teddies. Offer each toy a drink and biscuit with the same repetitive question: “More drink?” and “More biscuit?”.

Find and name parts of the body, with or without rhymes. Make it more difficult by asking your child to find “your eyes” and “my eyes”.

Use often repeated phrases with exaggerated intonation: “Where are you?”, when you’re looking for any person or object.

Don’t forget to name actions as well as naming objects: “Come and eat”.

Provide words to express feelings and to get help. Draw pictures of teddies looking sad, cross, happy and surprised.

Show your child how to blow bubbles. This is actually quite difficult for young children, but it provides an opportunity to teach words like “more”, “bubbles”, “pop” and “gone”.

If you are concerned that your child is not saying his first words, call Newcastle Speech Pathology for a chat about how you can help her start talking.

Written by Alison Speech Pathologist Newcastle Speech Pathology

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