It can be very exciting when your little one starts speaking, you just never know what’s going to come out of their mouth next! It’s important to remember that each child will grow and learn at their own pace so please don’t worry if you think your child is behind on their language development.  
Of course, we’ll do all we can help at nursery and if you have any worries, please don’t hesitate to talk to us about them. However, you can help at home too. Here are three fun ways to help your little one’s speech develop. 
Monkey Mouth 
This exercise focuses on mouth movement which develops the muscles they need for speech. We think it’s even more fun if you join in too! Make sure your little one can see themselves in a mirror. This can either be on the wall or a hand mirror. You’re then going to ask them to make an “ah” sound with their mouth as wide as it’ll go. Then ask them to make an “oo” sound with their mouth as puckered as it’ll go. Alternate between the two of them a few times. You should get an “oo ah oo ah” sound, similar to a monkey! Next, ask them to stick their tongue out as far as it’ll go, then bring it back in and repeat a few times. You can even ask them to move their tongue side to side or in circles when it’s out. This will help develop the back of the tongue. 
Straw and Pom Poms 
This time you’ll be focusing on breath and jaw muscles, two other important factors in our speech. Get your little one to place the straw in their mouth and blow a pom pom across a table or the floor. You could race them and see who gets to the end the fastest. Another way you could use these items is getting to suck the straw, so the pom pom sticks, and drop it into a container. You could combine this with asking them to only put a certain colour pom pom into the container which also helps with learning and recognising colours. 
Flashcard Letterbox 
We understand that everybody may not have a letterbox so you can make your own post box by simply cutting a slot through a cereal box. Painting it red is optional but fun to do! The idea behind this exercise is to work on sounds that your little one struggles with. We find that this is most often the ‘s’ sound. Find some flashcards with the sound you’d like to work on and encourage your child to emphasise that sound in the word and then say the word. Once they’ve done this correctly, they can post it into the letterbox and move on to the next one. If you don’t have access to flashcards, you can simply print or draw pictures of things with these sounds in and write the word underneath. 
Let us know how you get on with these fun exercises and if we can help you in any way! 
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