By the time a child reaches the age of 18 months, their vocabulary generally ranges at between 40 to 60 words. Occasionally a single word will be used in place of a sentence or words wont be pronounced properly. This swiftly expands between 18 to 24 months. Suddenly they will be putting together 2 or more words. At first they will only know a few short set phrases. Soon they will learn to put words together to invent their own combinations and sentences.
It is important to remember that children develop at their own pace though, so don’t panic if your child’s language development seems slow, some children do not say a recognisable word until they are two and half.
Toddlers like it when you talk to them in a lively way about things that interest them. When they are playing, talk to them about what they are doing. Ask them simple questions about what they are doing or where things they enjoy playing with or are playing with. Use short sentences and ask a lot of questions. Toddlers learn best by having real conversations. Its important to listen and respond enthusiastically when they talk. Give the toddler your full attention when they’re talking to you. Don’t worry about any mistakes they may make, just repeat back what they have said using the correct wording. Be patient as it can take time for them to put their words together and communicate what it is they want to say. You can assist them by even expanding on what they have said. For example, if they say something like ‘kitty cat’ then you could reply, ‘that’s right that is the kitty cat, look at his swinging tail’. Answer any questions they ask as simply as possible and remember always praise any attempts to talk. Never criticise or laugh at them.
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