Can toddlers have a conversation?

child development language acquisition Feb 04, 2019

Do conversations with toddlers work? This is a headline we spotted today. We sometimes get asked why we bother talking to children under 2, because they can’t have a conversation (the implication being they can’t understand).

Well, they can understand! And talking to them, narrating the daily routines of dressing, putting the dishwasher on, or going out, is what helps children learn how words join together in sentences. It’s how they learn to speak for themselves. Songs and stories aside, talking to them as much as possible while you’re together is super important.

They don’t learn just single words: vocabulary by itself isn’t language. They learn how words connect, the grammar, intonation, word’s all about having an actual conversation with your baby!

Going to eat a banana with your little one? Don’t just say “BANANA!” Say, “oh look at the yellow banana in the bowl...shall we eat it?” And even better, regardless of the baby’s ability to respond with words yet, take conversational turns as if they’re responding.

So yes, conversations with toddlers certainly do work. With your babies, right from birth, chat away to them like a TV chef narrating the processes of the day. Have rich, full conversations, and they’ll be talking to you in no time!

You might find that after your Babel Babies music and language sessions your baby is more ‘chatty’ - we think this is because their language has been really stimulated during the class and they want to tell you all about the fun they had popping bubbles, reading stories, and being tickled by crocodiles!

Come and see for yourself by booking onto one of our Explorer Packages and trying some languages together at home. Click here to learn more, or click the orange button at the top of the page.