Although we tend to define language development as the acquisition of verbal skills, communicating to your children right from the start should not be limited to spoken words. There are several other ways you can communicate to your child to encourage early language development:
- Sign Language – from 6 months onwards, you can use sign language when speaking to your baby, through gestures or by labelling objects while showing baby. (You can refer to AUSLAN or American Sign Language for some basic signs). By using the same sign and repeating the same word in different context, for example – ‘high’ – ‘your chair is so high’; ‘look! that bird flies so high’ , baby begins to grasp a better understanding of the word.
- Baby talk – respond to your baby’s vocalisations verbally – wait until they finish their ‘baby talk’, then speak back to them in the same intonation and length so it feels like you really are taking turns ‘conversing’. Although it’s mainly babble and incomprehensible sounds, responding to baby’s babbles teaches them the etiquette of social exchange – babies thrive on it!
- Everyday Chat – talk to your baby, tell him/her what you are doing, what your plans are for the day, how your day has been – it’s fun for both of you, and gets you in the early habit of communicating meaningfully with your children .
4. Finally, it’s all about the music!
- Sing or hum to your child right fom when they are newborn, until when they finally ask you to stop
- Use songs for rituals around the home : bath-time, bed-time, cleaning up time
- Make up silly songs and invent nonsense words that impart a positive uplifting tone
- Bounce & exercise Baby to rhythmic upbeat songs
Best of all, you can always join us in one of our music classes with your baby, so we can sing, dance, move, listen and create music together. There’s nothing better than sharing your Baby stories and experiences with the other parents and caregivers in class.
Babies are social curious beings right from the start. They get such joy seeing other babies around them. Our music class tends to put a smile on everyone’s face!