Prepare your child for play by describing different features of the toy as you and your child explore it together: what it feels/sounds like, what to do to make it work, and then what happens when it does.
Keep your language simple and repeat words often. Realize that children understand short phrases before more complex sentences. And please, no “baby talk”!
When you talk about playing with the toy, combine words with gestures and signs. Remember, there are lots of ways to communicate!
Emphasize the sounds of words and objects.
Encourage any of your child’s attempts to make sound-effects and approximations of words.
Try to face your child when playing, or play in front of a mirror—it’s a fun way for both of you to see everything!
Toys/Features to Look For
Toys that react to a simple touch
Toys with realistic sounds and figures
Toys that require your child to make sounds for something to happen
Toys that label toy objects, offer related sounds and let your child practice over and over again
Toys that relate words and letters to the sounds they make
Toys that emphasize initial consonant sounds, rhyming words or other pre-literacy activities