Children learn best while playing. It is the most meaningful and motivating activity for a toddler. Therefore, use this time wisely. As a bonus, playing is fun!
What you need: You need legos, blocks, or any toy that your child enjoys. It is best if the toy has colors and lots of pieces.
How to Play: There are no specific directions on how to "play" this game. Instead, play time is a great way to model language for your child. Remember to ask questions and make comments using simple direct language. I like to use blocks or legos for the following vocabulary: up, down, fall down, colors, numbers, build, knock down, on, off, in, out, big, small. These vocabulary words and concepts are all appropriate for toddlers. You, the parent, will work on great vocabulary without thinking.
1. Using simple language at this age does not mean baby talk. Your speech should be slower with a little more animation but closer to adult-like speech.
2. Match your child's length of speech and then add one more word. If your child speaks using 1 word, use 2 words. If your child does not speak yet, use 1 word phrases, etc...
Child who is 20 months old and says about 15 words (what NOT to do)
This child only speaks using single words; therefore, talking in 4-5 word phrases can be a bit overwhelming. While this parent and child play and have some conversational exchanges, the child did not have the opportunity to repeat words and/or learn a new word.
Child who is 20 months old and says about 15 words (what TO do)
Child who is 2 years old and says about speaks using 2 word phrases