Using swings to build language in toddlers

Swings are wonderous things.

They always seem to diffuse tensions.

If you are lucky to have one at home, they can really get you through the afternoon.

They are ageless, my daughter who is a few days from finishing high school loves our swing. It is her happy place. She will go there and just sit with nature, sit with her thoughts. Sit with her phone too.

But if you have a toddler, they are a very great place to build language into your everyday.

Our everyday routines are the best place to be layering language for our toddlers.

So, the following are the ways that I used to use swings with my kids.

  1. Give them a push, and then stop them (by feet – was my favorite way as we could get eye contact) – and wait – look at them – raise your eyes – ask “finished or more?”, say / sign “more”, “more” – then (assuming they indicate more) swing them again -let them swing a few times and repeat the same pattern.
  2. “push, push, push, push – every time you push them – *note to self-repetition is critical for language development, so even though you may feel a bit batty, know that it is a powerful way to teach them the word ‘push’.
  3. Give them a tiny, not very good push – wait – pause – see if they say ‘higher’ or ‘faster’ or ‘more’ and then repeat what they say ‘higher’ then follow through.
  4. Stop swinging – wait, pause – see if they say – more, again. My eldest used to say ‘anothergen’. We loved it. I would respond with ‘again, again, you want another go – never, ever correcting, but modelling the words for him’.
  5. Do it as much as you can – daily, repetition of predictable language is the best for building language in our toddlers.

I developed the Toddler Talk Kit as a way to share the strategies that I have been sharing with families for more than 26 years, as well as knowing the strategies that really supported my own children’s language development.

It is a collection of tools that can be used in everyday moments that build, build and build language every single day.

I know it helps mums feel calm and confident in their toddlers talking.

If you are keen to know more, you will find it here.

It is a self-paced, online program.

I am confident that if you are currently uncertain with how your toddler’s talking is developing then the Toddler Talk Kit will give you peace of mind.

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