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Strategies for Encouraging Children to Play and Talk

Encouraging children to play and talk can sometimes feel very challenging. A Speech Therapist can be a great resource to help provide individualized support to you and your family to address these concerns.


Here are some Speech Therapy tips that you can try at home!


  • Turn off all distractions (e.g., TV, tablets, etc.) to help you listen and tune into what your child is saying and help them to engage with you.


  • Ensure you are at your child's eye level and face to face as your child needs to be able to see that you are talking to them.


  • Be curious! Find what your child is interested in by following their lead. They will be more likely to play and talk about the things that interest them.

  • Join in with your child's play as this helps teach your child that you are attending and listening to them. This will also help to develop early imitation and turn taking skills.


  • Model language! Name the objects or actions that your child is interested in. This will help your child to begin linking these words with objects and actions in speech.


  • Comment on what you see but be careful to avoid asking too many questions. Questions put pressure on the child to speak and they may not understand or have the language to answer yet.


  • After the child's communication attempt, repeat your child's speech back to them. You can say the words that your child might be trying to say by interpreting their behaviour. For example, if your child points to their cup say “more juice?”


Be consistent and patient, and don't forget to have fun with your child!



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