As a parent, there are few greater feelings and moments than when you first start to notice your young child’s mind at work. The development from wandering eyes to purposeful movements and observations in an effort to study and know the world is a genuinely amazing journey to watch babies take.

Just as babies study the physical world around them, their developing brains also begin working to decode and comprehend language, both spoken and unspoken, by observing you. What starts with cooing and babbling, soon progresses to “mama” and “dada” and gradually becomes a string of single words and then sentences. While babies will naturally pick up words as they grow, encouraging a healthy variation between nouns, verbs and descriptive words is a surefire way to bolster your baby’s language skills.

Why does it matter what words they learn?

Since you’re always being observed by babies, the things you say and your tone when saying them are essential in timely development. Your young ones are quick to recognize when mom or dad are either happy or sad. The minute differences in how your face looks, the tone of your voice or how you’re standing, all register to little ones as they start to comprehend social and pragmatic behaviors and cues.

But where do the parts of speech come in?

It’s beneficial to take time when communicating with your child so they can start to notice the mouth movements for “m,” “n,” “b,” or “p” sounds as they’re simpler. These sounds are also among the words children first begin to master. Coupled with learning nouns, teaching your children verbs and other descriptive words can be advantageous as it furthers language comprehension. By using expanded language in your daily talk with your child, you’ll be giving both function and meaning to the words you use; essentially, you’ll help your child learn what an object is by explaining what it does and what it looks like or how it feels.

Well with all this advice, what words are good to start with? I’m thrilled you asked! At Greater Learning LP, we’ve created a list of 10 early developing words that can help children communicate their needs as they are developing language and learning to navigate their world. So grab your notepad, jot these down and start littering them throughout your day and watch your child’s development!

Mama | Dada- Naturally, these are the first ones we all push our children to pick up

Baby- Our babies should know who they are in the family tree!

More- Functionally, it’s always best when they can share if they want ‘more’

All-Done- Teaching this word early on may help avoid the tears when their favorite snack is finished!

Up- Both function and visual, “up” is going to be a command-request you’ll have to accept as your little one beckons you to hold them.

Open- As a word of function, ‘open’ is essential. From doors to juice boxes, you’ll be hearing “open” quite a bit for the first few years.

Hello | Bye-Bye- While it seems like it wouldn’t need explaining, teaching your children courteous manners is an absolute and will help their overall progress.

Uh-Oh- The accidents are going to happen and there are more than we could begin to list. Pre-emptively teaching “uh-oh” will help frame situations as they come, and they will, as mistakes or accidents that we learn from and avoid repeating, like coloring on the walls!

Eat- Eat works in tandem with “more” and “all-done,” and as a verb it frames both those words, the functions of all three and an overarching explanation of the act itself.

Wash- Cleanliness, especially with children, is amazing if you can actually accomplish it, and by teaching wash early on it may be a quick reality you can revel in!

Naturally, these aren’t the only beneficial words to try and teach your child, but they’re undoubtedly going to be smart, advantageous words for your young one to pick up as they serve functions that your baby will frequently ask for or say.

Do you have favorite words or strategies for teaching your baby language? Share them with us, or contact Greater Learning LP for more strategies to propel your child’s progress.


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