Encouraging Speech

We all know that encouraging speech is extremely important! We need to promote speech development from birth. There are many ways you can help your child understand and use words correctly. If you don’t know where to start, do not worry! We have all the information you need.


What Activities are Good for Speech Development?


  • Birth to 2 years old
  • 2 to 4 years old
  • 4 to 6 years old
  • Six years and older


Birth to Two Years


Yes! You want to start encouraging speech as soon as your child is born. When you sit in the hospital looking at your new baby, and you inevitably start talking to them. “Hi! I am your mama.” While it takes a while for them to say anything back, as your baby grows, they start to babble and make sounds that eventually turn into words.


Saying things like “mama” or “dada” and trying to get your baby to say them back to you is a great activity. Likewise, when your baby makes sounds, talk back to them, and repeat what they. Mimicking conversation will increase their confidence with talking.


Counting what you see with your infant, using gestures like waving and pointing, pointing out colors and shapes, and teaching your baby to clap or play a game of peek-a-boo are all activities that encourage speech development as well.


Two to Four Years


It is important to start speaking clearly and model good speech that your child can follow at this age. Make sure to help your child understand and ask questions. It is important to ask yes or no questions to teach your child to understand and answer you. While your child can get frustrated while learning, if you are patient with them, they will thrive.


Teaching your child new words is also a crucial part of speech development. Making sure they put words they have learned into sentences is also beneficial. Asking specific questions while pointing out colors and the item itself helps increase your child’s vocabulary and understanding. For example, “Do you want to wear your blue shirt or red shirt?” requires that they process colors and can express what they want beyond a yes or a no.


Another great activity is showing your child pictures of familiar people and places. Talk about who they are or what happened at those places. Then, have your child make new stories about things they would do at this place or with those people. This activity encourages their speech development and ignites their imagination.


Four to Six Years


As you know, a child at this age is highly energetic and constantly on the go! Therefore, it is crucial to get your child’s attention before talking to them to make sure they listen and pay attention to what you are saying. A great activity at this age is to start talking about where things are. Are they up or down, left or right, first or last?


Start to group items into categories. You can even print out pictures and have your child choose which pictures go into what categories. For example, a shoe would not go in the same category as an apple.


You can also use everyday tasks to continue speech development with your child. For example, ask them to put a napkin on the table and then ask her who it belongs to, therefore identifying the item and the person.


You can also start grocery shopping with your child. Talk to them about what you will buy, how many items you need, and what you will make. Discussing the sizes, shapes, and weights with them will continue to promote positive speech development.


Six Years and Older


By age six, your child should have quite an extensive vocabulary. However, they are still limited in their ability to understand complicated language structures. In addition, since words have multiple meanings, it takes time for children to learn the relationship between words as they get used to them being used in more ways than one.


Metaphors are highly confusing at first to children, but as they hit this age, you can teach them what a metaphor is and offer examples. For example, “She is as cool as a cucumber” doesn’t mean she is a cucumber or cold like one. Explaining the multiple meanings to your child can help them decipher between the two.


Children with well-developed language skills due to continued speech development tend to have better attention spans and memories. In addition, these skills continue to help them learn new things quickly and develop positive self-esteem. Children with strong speech development are also more likely to make friends more quickly than those who have trouble expressing themselves with words.


What Types of Resources are Available for Speech Development?


  • TED Talks
  • Motivational Speeches
  • Books


TED Talks


TED talks are an excellent option for your children when it comes to speech development. These TED talks cater to any child over the age of six. The benefits of TED talks for children are endless. They are short enough to keep young brains engaged, include essential life lessons, and are fascinating. Listening to the language used in the TED talk is also great for your child to expand their vocabulary.


Motivational Speeches


Motivational speeches, whether new or old, are another excellent resource for speech development for children. While most speeches are geared toward kids seven or older, there are some given by other children that can be found right on the internet, like Kid President!




There are endless books at our fingertips all the time. The list of books that can inspire your children to dream bigger and change the world is endless. As your children read these books, they will improve their speech and develop new vocabulary and understanding.


Where Can I Find Resources for Speech Development?


  • Online
  • Bookstores
  • Speech Pathology Sites
  • Apps


The internet has a wide range of resources that are available for speech development. Some resources include free downloadable content. You can also buy this content online for a fee if you cannot find it for free.


Many speech pathology departments offer free resources to parents as well. There are even apps that you can download that are geared towards benefiting your child’s speech development.


While encouraging speech development can feel overwhelming at times, the resources at your fingertips are endless. Even if you are sending your child to daycare, there is no need to stress as they have many resources. As your child grows, their needs will continue to change. Encouraging all forms of speech development at different ages will continue to set your child up for success for their entire future.