Preschool Speaking Milestones

July 05, 2016, Chennai

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For Parents | By Shubha Janardhan | July 05, 2016

“ Mommy, look, ant! Mommy, see, I am bruwushing my teeth.  Mommy look, a bird”  Rahul had started speaking in full swing.  Last year Anjali was worried that he wasn’t talking much and this year he just couldn’t stop!

At this age, preschool children are developing the ability to have longer and meaningful conversation with people around them.

 They are able to correlate various words and realize that those words are matched with objects around them.  Their vocabulary is also starting to grow.  The typical preschool child loves to have conversations about specific topics and less of babbling.  Preschool children also talk in full sentences and paragraphs.  Some children love to talk about what they see around them and some other are less talkative.  Either way, don’t panic if your preschool child is not talking too much – remember that children develop at their own pace and some children bloom later than others.  Take a deep breath and encourage your child softly.

Another important aspect to make not of is that children at this age are also learning the rules of language.  When to use verbs, when to use adjectives and when to use conjunctions. You might find your preschool child speaking sentences like “I writed on this paper” or “I eated carrots mommy.”  Don’t worry if your child is talking like this – they are just learning when to use what.  When they misuse language, gently correct them by saying “ that’s wonderful, actually, the way to say it is ‘I ate carrots mommy.”

Often parents and caregivers will find preschool children start telling stories with words.  These stories might be from their imaginary world or about something that they saw.  Preschool children at this time are “thinking out loud.”  They are developing skills to solve their problems, learn how to moderate their behaviours, and delve themselves in pretend play.  All these are normal.  These are in fact important developments in your child’s ability to think about their actions, understand how they are carrying out their plans and actions and correct themselves if they are in the wrong direction.

While talking, you may also find that your preschool child is making up words.  This is an instance of using language creatively.  They may make up names for their favorite dolls, pets and people around them.  For example, their teddy bear might be called “browny.”  Because little preschool children are still developing, some of these creatives uses might sound cute, some funny and some just down right incomprehensible!  Enjoy these moments!

Preschool children are also understanding the strength behind using language.  Because they do not understand the full meaning of words, they may use them just to test out the impact those words are.  Those words might be used as insults or showcase aggressive behaviour.  If your preschool child is doing any of these, calmly suggest alternatives and teach them how and when to use those words.  Remember that children this young are still discovering the world around them – if they are showcasing aggressive behaviour, they might be frustrated and need something.


How to encourage your preschool child

A supportive home environment, which is nurturing is crucial.  Here are a few tested ways you can use to encourage your pre-schooler to start using language appropriately:

1.    Delve in pretend play with your child.  If your child is playing superman, become superman’s assistant.  If your child is having a tea party, ask them if you can have tea with them.

2.    Play is very very important.  We cannot stress enough the importance of play.  Preschool children learn about the world around them through play.  Encourage them.  Pretend that you are in a bank and that they are a teller.  Ask them to count the coins and give it to you.  Pretend you are playing chef and help them play with kitchen sets.  Ask them to cook you something.

3.    Convert everyday moments into play moments.  These help children develop strong language skills.  For example, if you are at a mall, ask your child to play “detective” and help you find the shoe store from a map.  When you play with integrated tools, you are also helping your child build cognition and relationships among many things.

4.   Get your child’s help.  Pretend that you need help from them and have them read out small words to you.  Make lists of grocery items, food items and other household items and have them “help” you read.

5.    Listen to your child actively.  It is easy for us to ignore our children or not pay full attention to them.  Life becomes so hectic.  But, these moments are very critical for your child. They are learning everything about the world around them.  When you ignore them, they are also learning that they are not important enough.

Encouraging preschool children to learn speaking and using language is a step by step process.  Try and enjoy every moment with your child – they don’t’ last too long!


Shubha Janardhan is the Co-Creator of Nidara

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