I do Fun Monday and Wordless Wednesday sometimes, so I thought I’d put in a little Talk Tuesday. Today we’re going to talk about words. As you might have seen on facebook, or maybe here, I’m not sure, Keeley now has a lot of words. Her favorite phrase seems to be ‘where x go’? Doesn’t matter what x is. It was the doctor at the doctor’s office, the cows alongside the road, her dad when he leaves the room, and so on. I even hear that when I went to the store by myself, she actually asked where I was. I’m not sure I believe the man, though. She didn’t come running up to me and throw her arms around me like she does him, so I think he’s just saying it to make me feel better.
Her most common phrase, though is probably ‘more x please’… again, x could be milk, chocolate, cookie, cracker, cheerios, chicken.. just about anything. Sometimes she forgets the please. She gets ‘the look’, she remembers to say please. Win win! At 18 months she was saying ‘more please’, which we counted as a sentence. Now she seems to be actually trying to use a sentence at 2, which is good. At last count, she has around 130 words, not counting numbers or alphabet letters. Most of them are common things, moon, fish, bear, most of the common colors, and so on. We asked the doc, and he said 40 words would be a lot. It’s surprising how many MORE words she has now, than she had at 18 months, or even 22 months. The other day, she said ‘more hangers, please’ just as plain as day. Now, granted, it doesn’t have a g in it, so it is more like ‘hanners’ but still. It was a word I never expected her to say out of the blue. I suppose if I want her not to have a foul mouth, we need to watch what we say from here on out.
On her birthday, she mooed at the cows in the field. Normally, she might say moo if she saw a picture of a cow or a cow figurine, or if we even SAID cow, but she was able to see them out the truck window and said moo. Awesome! I was SO proud. Probably doesn’t mean a lot to some people, but if you live the midwest and you can’t moo at cows on a roadtrip, it’s going to get awfully boring!
It is fun thinking of what she might say next. There have been several just out of the blue like ‘moon’ that I didn’t figure she even KNEW that she said, for instance, pointing at the sky. Those kinds of instances floor me.
Do you have toddler with not very many words? As long as they are using the ones they have correctly, it’s not a big deal. You should check with your child’s doctor if you’re concerned about language acquisition. However, I’ve noticed that just by sharing everyday tasks with my child, I find myself teaching her as we go along.
Books are great to have. They are great learning tools and can start conversations, even silent ones, like a giggle at a funny picture or something you say. Sometimes a giggle says it all. Beg them off of someone with kids older than you, borrow from the library, or put them on your holiday lists coming up. We got some GREAT picture books at our baby shower that have a ton of words in them. I’ve seen similar ones for around $5 with 100 different word and picture combos in them. We started out by pointing at things and saying, say ‘button’. We did that for a while, and then said, ‘can you show me the button?’ We weren’t upset if she couldn’t, we just labeled it for her again, and after a while, she could point out the button. Then, ‘can you see mommy’s button on her shirt’ — taking it to real life level. I think this is the real key to get kids to spit those words out. They have to have a daily use, or they’re not going to, well, use them. From there, you progress to, ‘can you say button’ and then ‘what letter is this in the word button’ ‘b makes the buh sound’ and then, ‘can you spell button’. It’s a huge labor intensive process, but taking the time now will insure that you don’t have to spend hours later on sounding out simple words with your grade schooler. Exposure is everything.