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7 Ways to Unlock the Magic of Your Child’s First Words

Nothing quite compares to the incredible moments we experience as our children come into this world and begin to learn and grow right before our eyes. These can often be long days with our babies, but the priceless experience of helping our children begin to build language skills can be an exciting and rewarding process for babies and caregivers. So worth it!


In this blog post, I will be exploring 7 valuable tips to help you encourage your baby’s language skill development. These tips include making use of engaging and interactive toys and activities, as well as fostering an exciting environment that is rich in language. By implementing these tips, you can help your little ones navigate the world of words and set them up for success in the future!


Check out the tips below and make sure to note the application of each one!


1. Make Reading a Priority

Most of us have heard about the importance of reading, but it really does have an enormous effect on the learning path of our growing communicators. Creating an environment that is full of reading absolutely encourages conversation and jumpstarts the baby’s attempts at communication. Surround your baby with a variety of stimulating materials such as books, toys, and games that promote language development.

We absolutely love to play with the LeapFrog Learning Friends® 100 Words Book as a wonderful source for reading and learning.

Our little ones are able to explore new vocabulary through colorful pages, sound effects, and even bilingual instruction. All three of my children have adored this toy!


2. Repetition is Key

Have you ever noticed that when we as adults hear a catchy song or phrase just a few times, we can’t seem to get it out of our heads? If you hear and use it enough, it eventually becomes information that you retain for a long period of time.


This works amazingly with our kiddos and the best part is that kids love repetition and routine. I believe it provides a level of comfort for our babies, thus opening the door for a love of learning.


The LeapFrog Spin & Change Apple Shape Sorter is PERFECT for repetition. Children can press the stem of the apple shape sorter to match simple and complex shapes and fruits. Then they open the storage door and can play over and over again.


3. Utilize Nonverbal Communication

Older siblings, family members, and peers can provide a great opportunity for nonverbal communication.  Nonverbal communication, including eye contact, tone of voice, and even smiling, serves as an important bridge to help children build communication and other skills.

Use gestures and facial expressions to convey meaning and encourage your child to do the same.

A great activity for an older sibling could be tea parties with the LeapFrog Rainbow Tea for Two. This sensory-rich toy provides a great set-up for non-verbal communication by providing real-life pouring sounds and an array of colors with the light-up teapot. You can even play peek-a-boo using the teapot while your little one is introduced to colors, numbers, and shapes!


4. Reinforce What is Learned

When you begin to hear and see those first attempts at verbal communication, expanding on what is shared is a great way to encourage further attempts at learning.

I always make it a goal to learn the same songs and rhymes that my kids are learning every day. I sing these songs throughout the day, sometimes pausing to see if they can fill in the blanks. This reinforcement provides comfort and increased confidence over time.


We love to explore the animal names, sounds, and fun facts from the LeapFrog 100 Animals Book! Not only does this toy make learning easy to reinforce, but it’s also bilingual!

5. Don’t be Afraid to Sing and be Silly!

At any given point in time, there is usually at least one of five people singing something either productive or silly in my home (and dancing too 😊). It’s a way of life here and I truly think it promotes a positive environment for growth!


Putting concepts to a tune is such a great way to learn and retain information.

I think it adds happiness to the household that can't be matched, and the LeapFrog Learn & Groove Shakin' Colors Maracas is always a perfect addition to our silliness.


The electronic maracas have a light-up dome that changes colors in sync with the music. They also feature sounds that introduce colors and numbers that you can hear in both English and Spanish!


6. Engage in Pretend Play

Pretend play is an amazing precursor to language building, helping to draw out those first words and phrases. As children engage in make-believe play and act out different scenarios, they begin to pick up on the language and learn how to use it as well.


Our kiddos are continuously observing through play and fortunately, we have toys to enhance the experience! We use the LeapFrog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket to act out scenes and encourage our toddler to participate and communicate with siblings and play partners.

Use the plates, forks, cups, food, and basket for a pretend picnic while matching shapes and colors with different modes of music and interactive activities.


7. Don’t Stress It; Have Fun!

One thing I always keep in mind is that babies and toddlers have their own unique timeline for language development, so don’t stress it if they aren’t babbling up a storm or forming phrases just yet.

Our daily interactions with fun adventures, patience, and loving guidance will naturally cultivate the magical first words and communication we all yearn for.

By combining education with entertainment, these creative LeapFrog toys provide an immersive learning environment that encourages our kiddos to explore new words and concepts. Children can experience a memorable and enjoyable adventure on their journey to communication. Encourage your little one to have fun and enjoy this magical time!


Author Bio:

Hi! My name is Kayla Hollomon and I'm an activity mom of three with over 15 years of experience crafting, writing, designing, parenting and creating. My mission is to bring fun, balance and learning to your busy homes with activities, tips, inspiration, and organization found on




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