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10 Suggestions That Will Increase Children's Language & Intellectual Development

by Rachel Pancare

Spending time and communicating more with your children are effective ways to increase your children's language and intellectual development. "Parents play a critical role in a child's language development," according to Parents.com. The more exposure children have to language, both verbal and in print, the faster her skills will develop. To support your children's language and intellectual growth, you need some strategies.

Talk Often

Converse with your children.

Speak to your children as often as possible. Talk about your environment and narrate what you're doing. If you have a baby, talk to her in simple language while doing chores around the house.

Be Responsive

Engage with your children when they are trying to communicate with you. Have frequent, meaningful conversations by asking questions and giving them opportunities to speak. Respond to a baby's noises and movements.

Expose Your Children to New Experiences

Take your children to new places and have conversations about what you see or what is happening. New places help introduce new vocabulary words.

Use the Senses

Using the five senses can help you build conversations around new experiences while teaching children how we interact with the world. Expose them to experiences that engage their senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.

Use Language-Rich Routines

Repetition is another effective way to improve language development in children. Form daily routines so they can continuously hear the same words and phrases.

Read Books Regularly

Read together.

Reading is a powerful means of accelerating language development and intellectual growth. If your child is reading to you, use books that are at or below her reading level to improve fluency. If you are reading to your child, encourage her to interact with the book. Ask your child questions as you read.

Encourage Text-to-text Connections

While reading, encourage your child to draw connections between something on the page or something that is happening to a character and something in the child's own life.

Use Visuals

Hang up educational posters.

Exposure to text and pictures in the environment is an effective way to support your child's language and intellectual development, too. Hang up posters in your child's room or create a word wall and add new words in different colors and sizes occasionally.

Write Messages

Use a dry erase board and leave daily messages. Write something about the day or ask a question your child can respond to.

Play Games

Play a word game.

Employ educational games. For babies, a game might be as simple as a rhyming chant or song with hand motions. For slightly older children, try memory games with picture and word cards that children have to match or even a game of Scrabble. You can also buy games designed for language development such as ThinkFun Zingo, Honey Bee Tree, Barnyard Bingo or Race to the Roof.

About the Author

Rachel Pancare taught elementary school for seven years before moving into the K-12 publishing industry. Pancare holds a Master of Science in childhood education from Bank Street College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Skidmore College.

Photo Credits

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