Researchers stress the import role parents have during the 18 month to 24 month developmental window.
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I’ve written previously about how to help your baby’s brain make important connections before they can even talk by playing this game.
Now I’m going to share how to help boost your child’s IQ now that they have hit the toddler stage and are learning to speak.
It turns out there is another reason why screens aren’t great for your toddler – they don’t encourage conversation!
A recent article published in the Journal of Pediatrics discovered that conversational interactions between parents and toddlers (18 months – 24 months) helped the toddler score higher on IQ tests.
Said another way, parents who had back-and-forth conversations helped their children become smarter!
You can do this in many ways:
1. Ask a question and wait for your toddler to answer, even if it’s just babbling. Listen and respond with another question.
2. When you read to them, stop at certain pages and ask them to point out where something is.
Ex. where is the cow? After they point at the cow ask them what sound a cow makes. Let them answer with “moo” and ensure you positively reinforce them when they correctly answer.
If they don’t answer, help them by making the sound yourself!
4. Play an interactive board game – This game is the perfect first board game. It mixes actions with words and is very interactive.
5. When you are watching tv or they are looking at an iPad take the time to also talk to them while they watch. You can pause and ask them questions or ask while they are watching. Ex. Do you like this song? What type of animal is Pepa? Etc.
6. Explain what you are doing – “I’m taking off my shoes. I’m putting my shoes away. Let’s put your shoes away too.” If they repeat any of the words let them know they are right and try to use that word often.
7. Take them to new places like an aquarium or children’s museum. New places will expose them to new words they may not have heard before.
Moral of the story: skip the baby talk and have real conversations with your toddler, even if they can’t quite talk back – yet.