Tips for language development - 12-18 months

By now your little one might be saying a few words and clearly recognising some of the things that you say to them.

In the video below, speech and language therapist Sinead Campbell gives her top tips for interacting with 12-18 month olds in a way that helps with their communication skills.

Baby talk tips - 12-18 months

  • Messy play is great for babies at this age as you can teach them the words for textures as they explore different materials like jelly. Describe them using words like 'squishy' and 'squashy'
  • Repeating nursery rhymes over and over is great for teaching babies words. The more they hear a rhyme, the more likely they'll remember what comes next, be waiting for certain parts of the song, and paying attention to the sounds of the words you say at the same time.
  • Singing songs with actions will get baby used to copying you and help them to connect the words they're hearing with the actions you're both doing
  • Try some musical activities like banging pots and pans with your little one. Let them hear the difference between 'quiet' banging and 'loud' banging, so they can learn these words too.
  • Look at simple picture books together with your baby. Don't worry too much about reading the story word for word - see which pictures and characters your baby likes the look of and talk about them. Make lots of noises and use an animated voice.
  • Try playing hide and seek with toys. They'll love this game and it will help them to develop their problem-solving skills
A dad and his daughter playing with jelly.

Children love getting messy, and playing with different textures gives chance for them to learn different words for how things feel like 'squishy, squashy jelly'.

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