Get Your Toddler Talking – Verbal Routines

by | Aug 30, 2019 | Speech

If you are anxiously awaiting hearing your toddler’s first word or if you are having difficulty in increasing the consistency of your toddler’s word use, then focusing on verbal routines may be of benefit! Some verbal routines are inherent in our daily lives (“good morning”, “ready set go”, “bath time”) while others require intentional effort (nursery rhymes, exaggerated pretend laugher, pretend to sneeze). When you repeatedly use the exact same words in the same pattern for the same objects or activities, you are using a verbal routine. Using verbal routines in recurrent activities can be a fantastic way to provide speech and language opportunities for your toddler. The repetition, predictability, and fun nature of the songs/chants will give your child a chance to contribute! Here are several verbal routines you can incorporate in your daily life: 

In the morning: 

“Good morning good morning”

“Breakfast time yum yum yum!”

“Who wants a hug? Me!”

Playing during the day:

Nursery rhymes/repetitive children songs (old Macdonald, happy and you know it, clean up song)

“Up up up down!” as you lift your child up in your arms and drop down 

“Ready set go” with cars, wind up toys, or on a swing

“mom/dad/toy where are you?” shout “Yay!” and clap hands when the person or object is found

“down down down jump!” as you squat to floor on “down” and jump up high on “jump!”

Place an object on your head and recite “ah ah ahchoo!” making it fall off as you sneeze

“1, 2, 3 crash!” as you make a tower of blocks fall to the floor, make 2 cars crash together, or lightly toss a toy or toddler onto the couch

At night:

“Dinner time yum yum yum!”

“nighty night sleep tight”

Read a repetitive book before bed such as “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?” or “The Pout-Pout Fish”

Repetition is key! As your child becomes more familiar with the routines, pause and wait for them to fill in a word. Use an enthusiastic voice, have fun, and make it your own! 

If you are concerned about your toddler’s limited amount or use of words, consider reaching out to the Speech Language Pathologists at Team 4 Kids Pediatric Therapy. Checking on your toddler’s communication skills is as easy as coming in for a free 15-minute screen at the Surprise or Peoria locations. After participating in this screen, the Speech-Language Therapist will let you know if a full evaluation should be considered or if communication development overall is judged as appropriate.

Janae Christensen M.S., CCC-SLP