Getting my toddler to talk: Activities & strategies


If you’re eager to hear your babies’ or toddlers’ first words, this blog post is for you. I understand the importance of getting your toddler to talk, and I’m here to help. In this article, I will explore engaging activities and effective strategies designed to nurture your child’s language development. Let’s embark on this journey of getting my toddler to talk together.

What’s covered in the article:

Getting My Toddler to Talk: Engaging Activities for Language Development

Getting my toddler or baby to talk through Books:

A Pathway to Vocabulary and Literacy

To kickstart your toddler’s language development, expose them to books regularly. Books play a vital role in expanding vocabulary and promoting literacy. Research conducted in 2019 showed remarkable results: children exposed to five books a day learned an astounding 1.4 million more words compared to those who weren’t. Let’s delve into the influence of book exposure on language development:

  • Never read to: 4,662 words
  • Exposed to 1-2 books per week: 63,570 words
  • Exposed to 3-5 books per week: 169,520 words
  • Exposed to one book a day: 296,660 words
  • Exposed to five books a day: 1,483,300 words.

Getting my toddler or baby to talk using Ball Drop:

Engaging your toddler in activities that enhance their motor skills is a great way to encourage language development. One exciting activity to try is the ball drop. Select toys that match your child’s developmental stage, ensuring they remain interested and ready to learn. By dropping small hand-sized balls in and out of objects, you can boost their hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and hand strength. Take this opportunity to introduce power words like “in,” “out,” and “stuck.” Remember, you don’t need fancy toys; simple items like tennis balls and tissue boxes will do the trick.

Everyday Opportunities for getting my toddler to talk

Baby with autism

Getting my toddler or baby to talk during Dressing:

Transform your everyday dressing routine into a language-building activity. Dressing time not only offers an opportunity to teach your toddler power words but also promotes independence. Encourage your child to learn words and phrases related to body parts, such as “in,” “on,” “put on,” “take off,” “shoe on,” “my sock,” “your sock,” and more.

Also, have you heard of backward chaining? One effective technique for teaching new skills to your toddler is called backwards chaining. This method gradually teaches them to perform a task while slowly reducing the amount of support provided. Here’s how it works:

Example: Pulling Up Pants

  1. Start by helping your child pull up their pants until they are just over their bottom.
  2. Encourage them to pull the rest of the pants up on their own once they have mastered the initial step.
  3. Once they can do that successfully, leave the pants halfway up their bottom for them to finish the rest.
  4. Over time, gradually fade your support, eventually allowing them to pull the pants up from their ankles independently.

By using backwards chaining, you can break down complex tasks into manageable steps, build their confidence, and promote their independence in acquiring new skills.

Getting my toddler or baby to talk during Snack Time:

Make the most of snack time by creating language-rich moments. Since snack time occurs multiple times a day, it’s an ideal opportunity to foster communication and expand vocabulary. Model words and phrases such as “more,” “help,” “stuck,” “yum,” “my,” “eat,” “drink,” “like,” and “don’t like.” Encourage your child to express their preferences and communicate their needs during this enjoyable routine.

Getting My Toddler to Talk: Effective Strategies for Language Development

Getting my toddler or baby to talk by Following Their Lead:

Maintaining face-to-face interaction with your toddler is crucial to capture their attention and facilitate meaningful interaction. By being at their eye level, you create a comfortable and engaging environment for communication. Just as you wouldn’t enjoy someone talking to you from above or behind, your child responds better when you’re on their level. Use this strategy consistently throughout your day-to-day activities.

Getting my toddler or baby to talk by Giving Them a Reason to Communicate:

To encourage your toddler to use gestures, sounds, or words, create situations where they have a reason to communicate. Avoid preempting their every need. Instead, present them with challenges or tasks that require communication. Place objects just out of their reach, make things slightly difficult to open, or give them items gradually. These scenarios prompt your child to use gestures, sounds, or words to express their desires or requests.

Getting my toddler or baby to talk by Joining in Their Play:


Imitating your child’s actions and sounds during playtime is an effective way to engage with them and enhance language development. Dedicate a few minutes to imitate their play and observe their reactions. You’ll likely notice increased attention, eye contact, and even imitation back from your child. This establishes a strong foundation for learning words and expanding their language skills.

Embrace the Unexpected and be silly:

When your child is engrossed in a toy or starting to lose interest, inject a sense of surprise and fun. Doing something unexpected and silly can reignite their engagement and spark communication. Use the toy in unconventional ways, wear it on your head, hide it in your sleeve, or intentionally make playful mistakes. These unexpected actions elicit curiosity, laughter, and interaction.

Joining in your child play to get your toddler or baby talking all contributes to modelling new words, and enabling them to be more willing to copy you!

Getting my toddler to talk: It can be easily incorporated into your everyday!

Getting your toddler to talk is an exciting and rewarding journey. By incorporating engaging activities and effective strategies, you can create a language-rich environment that fosters your child’s language development. From reading books to engaging in motor skills activities, from daily dressing routines to snack time conversations, every moment presents an opportunity for learning and growth. Follow their lead, provide reasons to communicate, join in their play, and embrace the unexpected. Enjoy the journey of watching your toddler’s language skills bloom as they communicate and connect with the world around them.


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