Gestures

#10 Sign It

Long before children say their first words, they use their hands and bodies to let adults know what they want and need. Children often start using gestures between 8 and 12 months old. They typically begin by pointing to things to get an adult’s attention. Later, children use gestures as if they were words. For example, when a child flaps his or her arms, he or she may be communicating the idea “bird.”

#9 Make Music

Adults can help children develop strong language skills by incorporating music into everyday routines and activities. Musical activities can help children develop an awareness of sounds that may help with phonological awareness, or awareness of sounds found in speech. Singing and listening to songs can give children an opportunity to practice using and listening to words. Musical activities may also enhance children’s language development since they can provide an opportunity for dialogue between teachers and children.

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