Happy New Year! This weekend my family had the opportunity to sneak away to a cozy cabin. With snow dusted trees, a crackling fire, and time with family, it was the definition of picturesque. We spent some time exploring nature and even tried to take my daughter sledding for the first time. It went…it went as well as you would expect sledding to go with an 18 month old! She needed encouragement to try and go down the hill and she needed Daddy to go down with her! In the end she just wanted to drag the sled behind her. A bit of a let down for what I pictured her first time sledding to be. But this was a good reminder that kids need models and opportunities to acquire a new skill. Kids need repetition.
Repetition is an important pre-literacy skill. Kids need to understand the connection between letters and sounds in order to be successful readers. Children are little sponges and those early years are crucial! Repetition helps children understand and retain new concepts and can play an even bigger role in the development of children with disabilities.
With the lack of in person classroom instruction brought on by COVID-19, you may sense that your child is falling behind in speech or language skills. Or you may have a toddler at home (like myself) who needs repetition to learn a new skill (like sledding!). The start of the new year seems like a great time to take control and start to target your child’s speech skills. I have been hard at work creating a parent friendly resource guide titled “12 Speech Techniques for Home Use” These are twelve simple techniques that you can work into everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or playing with your kids. Even better, NO materials are required other than what you already have at home. Get a FREE COPY of this download below!!
This resource guide includes a summary page of the techniques and accompanying description cards. Activities for implementation of these techniques are provided within the resource guide. If you are ready to start this journey with me I encourage you to print out my guide above. Hang the summary page somewhere you will see each day – like the refrigerator door or on a mirror.
Over the next few months, I will give in-depth information for each technique along with the goal of implementing one new technique each week. All the planning is done for you; all you need to do is implement the activity! You can do this Momma!
Today we will start with technique number 1: “Repetition”. Repetition is part of our lives each day. Most of us have repetitive activities and routines that we do each day without even thinking. Repetition is a huge part of language development for infants and elementary age children alike!
Infants begin to learn from the moment they are born. And language is acquired as infants repeatedly hear sounds and words. Studies have shown that babies as young as six months of age imitate more sounds after hearing the same books read to them when compared to infants who do not hear the same books read as often (2). The takeaway? Repetition helps develop language!
Toddlers love to repeat activities. My daughter loves to play the same games and read the same books on a daily basis. At times I grow fatigued from the repetition. But, there is a benefit! Re-reading the same books, using the same vocabulary words, and playing the same games can all help a toddler understand and retain new words. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should never introduce anything new. However, it does mean that repeating activities can help strengthen a child’s understanding of a word (1), concept, or social routine.
Even school age children benefit from repetition. There is an undeniable link between repetition and memory (3). The more a child hears a new word the more likely they are to recall that word. Some research suggests that there is a link between acquisition of language and the repetition of sentences spoken by peers (3).What does this mean? Repetition of tasks is an important key to success for young children.
Ready, set, go! If you haven’t already, download your free copy of my guide above, then go incorporate repetition into your routine this week! Sit back and watch your child grow.
- Horst, J. S., Parsons, K. L., & Bryan, N. M. (2011). Get the story straight: Contextual repetition promotes word learning from storybooks. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 17
- Simcock, G., & DeLoache, J. S. (2008). The effect of repetition on infants’ imitation from picture books varying in iconicity. Infancy, 13(6), 687-697.
- Schwab, J. F., & Lew-Williams, C. (2016). Repetition across successive sentences facilitates young children’s word learning. Developmental Psychology, 52(6), 879-886.