Communication, Language and Play at 12 Months

Communication, Language and Play at 12 Months

Your Child Now
12 month olds know lots about listening and talking already
They let you know what they want, like and dislike
They understand more than they can say
Their first words are the ones they heat you say the most – like mum, drink, dog, uh-oh
You are the most important teacher

Things Parents Say at 12 Months
'Noises really interest him – songs, banging pots and pans, interesting sounds outside, us talking to him. He doesn't know any words yet – but he knows lots of animal noises – so, we sound like a farmyard some of the time!"
'He doesn't actually say any words yet, but I'm pretty sure he understands some of the worlds I say to him. So I say them over and over!"

Talk to your Maternal and Child Health Nurse if your baby:
Doesn't enjoy eye contact or cuddles with you
Doesn't seem interested in sounds
Isn't babbling yet
Doesn't indicate what he/she wants
Doesn't seem to understand you at all

Things You Can Do With Your 12 Month Old
Talk
Name things around you, lots of times each day
Repeat the sounds and words your baby makes
Talk about: thinks your baby shows you or looks at – even if it doesn't seem interesting to you!
Talk about: what you and your baby are doing
Use action words to describe things you do or see – dropping, dancing, washing, walking.

Play
Play social games – wave -bye-bye' and -Peek-a-book'
Point to and name body parts – 'Where is your nose?"
Watch television together, so you both enjoy the songs and actions
Blocks, sticking toys, dolls are good toys to play with together

Read
Show pictures of babies
Repeat lots of rhymes and songs
Read a book at bedtime
Point to and name the pictures over and over together.

Spending Time With Your 12 Month Old
Name things around you
Using action words to describe things you do or see eg. dropping, washing
Get down and play at your baby's level
Play games like -peek-a-book' and -wave bye-bye'
Point to and name body parts
Watch television - together
Play together with blocks, stacking, toys and dolls
Sing songs and tell nursery rhymes
Read a book at bedtime
Point to and name the pictures over and over together
Visit your local library

Prepared by the Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children's Hospital. Published by Community Care Division, July 2003.

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