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5 Helpful Tips for Toddler Speech Development

Updated: May 22, 2023

To celebrate National Speech Therapy Month, we're sharing 5 fun ways to promote your child’s speech development.

1. Use lots of sound effects:


Toddlers often imitate sounds before words and every time they use their mouth to make sounds, they are refining their ability to speak. Get those mouths moving with humor and sound effects.

(E.g., "nom nom" for food, "Vroom" for a car, or "Whoosh" for wind. Don't forget animal sounds too!)

2. Use rhymes and songs


If your child has trouble repeating longer phrases, put them to a rhythm or turn them into a song.

3. Let them be the teacher


If your child is resistant to learning something, change it up and let them be the teacher! See them become more engaged in their new role. You can be the student or you can team up with your child to teach them some dolls or stuffed animals.

You can say, "We need to teach Teddy that S says sss, not mmm! He's getting it wrong!" Making it silly and fun is the most engaging!

4. Repeat Words


When your child pronounces a word incorrectly, repeat the word with the correct pronunciation and emphasize the sound they are struggling with. Make sure to respond to WHAT your child is telling you regardless of their pronunciation.

5. Add speech to daily routines


Use the same phrases over and over in everyday routines to help your child link language to the activity. Once they know a routine well, pause it and see if they fill in the words.

For example, you can say: "Sit down. Socks on, shoes on, stand up!" every time you put shoes on.

If you notice your child having trouble with language or toddler speech development, don't hesitate to consult with a POTS speech-language pathologist (SLP).


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