Amelia’s speech and vocabulary has come on leaps and bounds these past few months. She has learnt loads of new words and is strengthening the clarity and sounds of the ones she has been saying for a while now. I love watching and helping her to learn all of these new words and developing, growing and learning both physically and mentally.
Speech is such an imperative part of life and learning and I was surprised to find out that weaning plays a large part in the speech development process. My health visitor told me that chewing foods is really important for toddlers as it helps them to develop those muscles necessary for speech.
Here are the words that Amelia can say now:
- Yes (used correctly)
- Tractor (tends to call a lorry a tractor too)
- Share (I think she does know what this means and more often than not uses it correctly – especially when somebody has food!)
- Oink oink
- Chick (for a chicken)
- Nana – banana
- Woof woof – very well
- Raaaw (like George’s dinosaur on Peopa Pig)
Animals are definitely the words and sounds she finds easiest and I guess this is just because she has such a big interest in them. Our local agricultural show took place last month and we found that this really expanded her vocabulary a bit more by copying the new words.
I bought Amelia some learning cards for her birthday and we use these to encourage new words and also strengthen the ones she already knows. I don’t want to push her too hard to say too many things and get her all confused so I decided to work on sections such as animals, fruit, other food, vehicles etc, and also repeat the ones she already says over and over again. I found this works really well as being around my parents farm all of the time has encouraged her to copy animal names and mimic the noises. Her daddy drives a digger and tractor a lot of the time so we are forever saying ‘digger’ and ‘tractor’ which of course she has picked up easily. The flash cards have been amazing in helping her to develop when we are indoors but I think the main thing that encourages Amelia to learn is actually getting out and about and getting her excited about things that she can see which is when she seems keen to repeat them and request them constantly. It’s gotten to the point that she can even distinguish between a car and a tractor when they drive past the house, even if she cant see them she knows the difference in sounds which is really funny!
I have also been teaching her how to count up to three which is really amusing as she doesn’t really say the words like one, two and three she just makes a noise to mimic the way I’m saying it then look super proud of herself! Her favourite number is definitely two and often picks stuff up around the house and says her version of ‘two’.
Amelia responds really well to repetition which is key to learning. She’s very persistent and will happily repeat something up to 10 times without getting bored, point blank refusing or shaking her head.
I try not to obsess over it, but I do like to make sure Amelia is hitting all of the expected milestones for her age group and anything she is struggling with I will push her more to master it. At 18 months it is suggested that toddlers should speak a dozen words or more, clearly which Amelia definitely does, but every child is different and this statistic is only that. As a parent it’s hard not to notice what other children of the same age are doing developmental wise and I often hear children at playgroup say words Amelia doesn’t and then go on to teach her these ones too!
Picking up on everything we say has meant that she has gotten a little confused with ‘mum’ and ‘nan’ because whenever I talk to my mum I obviously call her mum but when I refer to her to Amelia I’m calling her ‘nan’ or ‘Nannie’ which gives Amelia mixed signals and causes her to mix up her vocabulary so I’m trying to call my mum ‘Nannie’ when Amelia is in listening distance and my mum corrects her when she shouts ‘mum’ at her. This also happens when I say ‘Jack’ as she sometimes says this to him rather than ‘dad’.
As a part of speech development and just general learning we have also been learning body parts. Amelia can now identify body parts such as feet, legs, belly, head and nose. If I ask her where each part is she gets really excited and it’s so obvious on her face just how proud she is that she knows and has gotten them right.
I think the next stage is learning colours and actually getting her to understand different colours in her day to day life, I just don’t want to bombard her with too much at once.
How do you encourage your little one to expand their vocabulary? Thanks for reading! xx