Parenting does not come with a definitive manual. No matter how many books you read, there will always be surprises. For new parents, and even some experienced ones, the first few years of your child’s life will come with worry and sleepless nights.
We all want our children to grow and learn and develop quickly. More importantly, we want them to develop properly and reach their full potential. The first few years of a child’s life is a period where their vocabulary quickly builds.
How Children Learn
At one year of age, most children know a few words. By the age of three most children can communicate with sentences. This is a very important time developmentally. Not only do we see growth in language capabilities by we also see physical coordination and skills develop.
Always remember that each child will develop at different rates. Even if you have twins, one grasping a pencil while the other does not is far from a cause for alarm. Remember that some children are shyer than others and may not feel the need to speak. When you teach them nursery rhymes they have something fun and silly that they can do with you. This encourages them to want to speak.
Your Child’s Vocabulary at 18 Months
At this age, most children can say nearly a dozen words that are identifiable. They may also repeat the last thing you say. This mimicry is a time of learning though it can occasionally be frustrating. By repeating the last thing that you say, your child is honing in on sentence structure and valuable sounds.
When you look at nursery rhymes, the words do not need to make sense. Yes, the visual image of a dish running away with a spoon promotes imagination but more importantly it teaches children to be comfortable with words. They practice saying sounds and making the sounds. A sort of simple tongue training.
Two-Years-Old: Reinforcing Verbal Skills with Nursery Rhymes
By this age, most children have a vocabulary of over 50 words. Not only can they say these words, they start to really understand them. This is a great time to teach whole nursery rhymes to your children. They now have the capability to remember the whole rhyme and to improvise endings. They can recite them back while expanding their vocabulary.
Age Three: Storytelling
While your child has grown up hearing stories and nursery rhymes, this is the age where they want to share with you. We often make the mistake of discouraging children from believing in anything deemed imaginary or pretend. This is a huge disservice to children.
Kids who can create a world they have never seen grow up to be better problem solvers. When we tell children that “A” is always this and “B” is always that, we limit their ability to create new solutions. By using nursery rhymes, you are letting your kids know that imagination is okay and that you approve. The language and thought skills your kids learn will serve them well for the rest of their lives and give them an advantage in the grown-up world.