4 speech therapy exercises to help babies start speaking.

Hi today, I’m going to show you four exercises to help your child start seeing their first words My name is Patricia Ruiz, and I’m a bilingual speech-language pathologist here at Miami speech Institute And I wanted to show you four exercises that we do here in therapy to stimulate your child in order for them to start Learning more vocabulary words, so let’s start if your child is 12 months 12 13 months They should be saying their first words already, which should be mama, Papa, Dada something along those lines After that your child will start acquiring more words So how can we stimulate this child in order to help them say the words a little bit quicker so? Here in therapy we do a few things so the first thing I recommend that you guys buy are these puzzles So these wooden puzzles are great because the child can manipulate them easily. They’re wood they’re easy to put they’re easy to take away You can find several different puzzles. There’s also these kinds of puzzles. I recommend personally anything that makes sounds so environmental sounds such as a bus a fire truck or An animal puzzle to start after that you can pick other things other objects that maybe don’t make noise But I would like the puzzles at first for your baby to be able to make noise so they have puzzles that Actually make the noise for you such as this one but this one’s not working or you can imitate the noise such as a cat goes meow a horse maybe or you can buy one if you feel too silly saying the noise and That comes with the sounds So let’s begin. What do you do after you have the puzzle, which you can buy at Marshall’s are at Ross or? On the internet wherever you’d like they sell them everywhere Melissa and Doug are usually my favorite ones, so what do you do first? You’re gonna pick the most basic animals don’t pick the fish Fish is difficult. You know pick the dog and the cat so You’re gonna start with three so first. I would pick the dog the cat And maybe the horse, so I’m gonna take three, and I’m going to flash it at my child at my patient And I’m just gonna say the noise so I’m gonna go woof woof, and I’m gonna try for my patient to imitate the noise back I’m not gonna tell them. It’s a dog. I’m just gonna label. This as wolf wolf. I’m gonna do the same with the cat and with the horse Now I’ll go over this with my child a few times during the day, and I’ll only use these three to begin I’m not gonna incorporate the rest I don’t want to confuse them, so I’m gonna go over these once my child starts imitating the noise back to me It doesn’t have to be perfect. It could be an approximation Once they start imitating it back to me. I will add another animal so I can add the bird The frog Etc so we want the child to be able to imitate it back once. They have it perfect and the noise is perfect It’s not an approximation It’s not kind of like a dog It’s wolf wolf exactly how you taught it, then I would add the environmental noises so the environmental noises include Let me show you they include a choo-choo train so choo-choo a firetruck a bus a car a Police car a plane so you’re gonna incorporate environmental noises after the animal noises First the animal then the environmental noises you could do either/or, but I like this Order better so once they imitate it perfectly then you can start adding the word so you’re going to go back to the three animals you picked and You’re going to tell them Wolf Wolf dog so you’re gonna add the label to the sound You’re gonna do the same with the cat the same with the horse? So then like that your child is gonna now start imitating the word it might be an approximation at first But eventually he or she will say it correctly So I would try this this would be my first exercise for a child That’s not really speaking and they should add first words to their vocabulary. This is how we start This is how I would start here in therapy so that’s one exercise Now we can do the second exercise that we do here in therapy our First word cards these cards you can also get at Marshalls at Ross On the internet wherever you want. I like these first word cards because I’m gonna show you So for example first they’re big they’re easy to manipulate they’re easy to grab Second you can touch them. They’re furry We like that kids like that. So this is a cat, and you could touch it You can show it so the first thing. I would do is obviously Do the sound If they imitate the sound I do the word and we’re gonna flash these cards like I said I don’t like to overwhelm my patients with a lot. I would not use all these cards. I would pick a few maybe five Cards, and I would put put pick things that I have at home so for example We can pick shoes if you have a cat, which I do Keys is something your child sees every day. They see you opening the door closing the door getting in the car Parents are always impressed by like the fact that their child knows. What keys are well Yeah, they’ve been watching you open doors for a really long time, so usually keys is a really good pick Apple and then you can pick another one if you know baby, so they can identify themselves wait So I would pick five of these cards to start with and I would have the child Point out what I want for example This is the way that it should be done or the way It’s done here at the in therapy, so I would ask my child which one are shoes This one or this one so we don’t want to put a Whole bunch of cards we want it to be a field of two cards So we want the child to reach for shoes So if he doesn’t if he or she doesn’t reach for the shoes we want to flash his shoes in front Cover the cut in the back. I would want to show him shoes This is the correct way to kind of get the child to understand that these are shoes. You would do the same Apple and baby, so which one’s the baby, you know we want them to kind of reach for it and we want to Facilitate it We’re not we don’t need them exactly to come and grab it you know you want to facilitate it if they pick the wrong one You flush the correct one in the front and do it again, baby So I would do a combination of this a combination of the carts right this is for them to identify This is for him or her to label so Identify Label, so this is receptive language, and this is expressive language we want to kind of simulate the child in both expressive and Auditory so this would be my second activity that I would do So my third exercise that I’d like to do is My monkey you can pick a toy you can pick a baby whatever dog you want, so you want to show? your child three basic verbs verbs Come in at two years old, but we can still show him so he has the concept of what it is They’re not gonna say the verb but at least they’ll understand what the verb mean so we want to show him drink We don’t want to say drinking drinking is difficult. It’s progressive. It’s in the future. It’s what we’re doing now We just want to say basic drink so monkey drinks, so we want to show the monkey drinks We want to show the monkey sleeps because it’s something we do every day so the monkey sleeps And we also want to show the monkey eats So let’s say the monkey eats bread So we want to show mmm the monkey eats we want I like to pig sleep eat and drink Because there’s three verbs that we do all the time that kids the kids would know you know it’s not something out of their routine So I would also show incorporate the three verbs I would incorporate the noises The cards and the three verbs and the last exercise I would do with my patient would be a set of food So these foods are fun They have soft foods, and they have heart food It’s up to you your preference. You know the smarter the child softer. You know the older the child Harder, anyhow, so I have the soft pineapple pineapple would be really difficult I would not pick you know three or five items to show the child pineapple would not be one of them It’s a difficult word to say it’s long. It’s not something we eat every day I mean, I don’t but we want to pick something basic So I would definitely pick bread Because if you’re Spanish you eat bread and Fung it’s easy to same so I would pick I don’t think this is bread actually. This is a potato Sorry, okay. This is red. So we would pick something basic such as bread I would also pick you can buy any of these fruits And I have a shopping cart you can buy any of these fruits at any store. I think these were bought at Target There’s chicken There’s cheese Banana is a good one and I’ll explain why and I would take another one maybe something that your child eats eggs So the idea is for you to pick again three to five items don’t overwhelm the child with so many options and so many things we just want to show them the basics, so let’s see So I would still do the same thing that I did before I we show him banana We’d put it here and cheese, and then I would ask them to please pick the banana You know you want them to reach for the banana So you would ask the same thing as you did with the parts banana and cheese You would ask them to which one is the banana, but this is different than the cards And I’ll explain why it seems to a lot of people that it’s the same exercises, but it’s not this is flat This is a card. It’s flat. It’s two-dimensional. This is something more concrete I mean It’s not a real banana for real cheese But it’s something more tangible that you can grab so it’s not the same exercise even though it kind of looks like it is So you want to do the same thing you want to put it out And you want them to pick the banana versus the cheese or whatever it is that you asked for? Banana is a good For to pick because it starts with the letter B B words are easy so when it comes to a baby or a child That’s between like twelve to fifteen sixteen months we want to pick words that are easy So anything that starts with a B, and M a P are easy words so banana would be one Bomb if you speak Spanish would be another one that would be easy You know cookie cookies another one that could be easy because the K sounds also easy cooking So this would be my fourth exercise I would go over with my child you know we would identify all of them, and then we would try imitating the word and then we would try labeling them if you do this kind of exercises I Don’t know maybe once a day or so for a few weeks You will see the improvement and you would see that the child will start to get more Stimulated and wanted to speak more when I express himself or herself better Okay, now that I’ve shown you guys four easy steps that you can do to help your child at home If by any reason you still feel that you rather a professional do it or you rather get a professional to do it as well Or if you need any advice or any suggestions, you know you can give me a call my name is Patricia Ruiz I am the miami speech Institute and we’d be glad to help in whatever Questions you may have thank you. I’ll see you in the next video


  1. Hello, I extremely appreciative of the videos you've made. They are very informative in helping me with my 3yr old who repeats questions rather than answering them. My son is bright, he knows all the colors, shapes, alphabet and counts to almost to 20. He's can put about 3-4 words together. "Please daddy, phone." I correct him by saying "Please daddy, I want phone." He tries to repeat but always misses a word or two. What school/daycare would you recommend in Miami for a 3yr that has this developmental issue?

  2. My 18 mth old is tongue tied. He has said words like, mouse, tablet, baby shark, book, but then we never hear him say it again. I'm worried his tongue tie is limiting him. I heard getting surgery later if needed is worse.

  3. i have a 20 month old who can say Mama, Dada and baba but doesn't use those words to call us. How do i help her talk? Thanks for the help

  4. How about if your child doesn't make eye contact / doesn't look at the two cards or objects that you are presenting? I tried putting the items in his hands (1 at a time) but he doesn't seem to acknowledge them. He repeats the two words after me but when I show both items and ask him to identify one, he always says the last item he repeated, not the correct one.

    He loves our letter tracing cards so I will order the touch & trace picture cards to see if that helps. Maybe because he wasn't interested in the items I chose?

  5. All this crap is not needed if you read to your child and in courage them to repeat words also just talk to your child daily

  6. Could you do a video on how to help a kid that is very good at communicating using body language, facial expression, etc… but isn’t talking?

  7. This is so helpful, my 14 month old is trying to say so much and getting frustrated so may try helping her with 3 words that we use lots to help her try and learn a few at a time

  8. My 3 year old has Down Syndrome and we are working with him and I’m always trying to find ways to help him learn to communicate! This video is awesome! Thanks so much for making this video ❤️ God Bless. I just subscribed to your channel❤️

  9. Hi I have 25 month year old baby he does not respond to his name, does not make eye contact and does say mama, papa and dada but not to call us. Health visitor came and saw him and said he may need appointment for hearing test and speech therapist, as per as I notice him his hearing is ok and it may take 3 month. Will it be too late? He always plays with car by lying down and want to play alone. I want to give him to the nursery will it help him?

  10. hi mam my son is 5 years he can't speak what he want bt sing a song when he wants either not repeat song.plz tell me what to do.

  11. The more I watched your video, I began to feel very glad to know all the speech perspective of these activities. I honestly did not know if this was going to work, but my child was more engaged during these lessons.

  12. Patricia god bless you. We’re learning a lot from your videos. Our son has a speech delay and honestly after watching this I’m starting to realize parenting and how and in which order we teach our children plays a critical role in their development. It’s easy to say a child has a speech delay but not once do we think it could be in how we’re teaching them. Amazing advice thank you again

  13. Thank you for sharing this! I am looking for tips to encourage my 16 month daughter to talk. She still babbles a lot and has used repetitive words but hasn't actually said her first word yet. I'm a bit worried I will give this a try. Thanks

  14. Would you be able to do a video on teaching babies how to be billingual, english and spanish? Is it the same concept or is it different?

  15. You do all of these exercises in one sitting? How long should you spend on these activities? This is so great. My daughter is less than a year old but she is so eager to learn, I want to teach her everything… just do it properly and not haphazardly. Do you do English and Spanish in one sitting? I am bilingual and would want my daughter to be multilingual as well.

  16. Hello my son is almost 15 months. Is it confusing for kids this age to use 2, 3 languages (French, English, Creole). Thanks

  17. My daughter will be 20 months on the 25th of this month and she has not said any words. Just the basics of dada and other sounds but no actual words. Is there anything you would recommend?

  18. Please my first daughter will be 4 yes in Feb next year,but she is not able to make Long sentences, she didn't talk early too she started speaking from two and half years,sometimes she is not able to express well,my second daughter is 18 months,she says daddy,the dad tought her a song she is able to sing,and she is able to sing some of the rhythms but she doesn't talk,if she wants water she will bring cup or bottle ,breast she will take your hand to the breast.do you think they have speech problems.

  19. Hi! My son is 17.5 months old and he says Dada, Mama, and Nana appropriately but other that that he just babbles. We have a few books with a few pictures on each page (baby's first words books) where we will ask him to point at different items like "where is the dog" and he points to the dog, and he can do that for almost every item in the book! We can also ask him to go get a certain toy, book or piece of clothing and he will bring the right one to us. He knows what we are talking about but he doesn't say any of the words on his own. He does a little bit of sign language that we taught him around 12 months including: milk, sleep, more/again, hi/bye. Should I be concerned at this age that he's mostly babbling?

  20. What if the baby, doesnt want to listen to you ? What to do so she will have some interests in listening? Thank you 😍

  21. Hi I have a question I have two children both bilingual or trilingual. My oldest is 10 and he speaks German and English fluently and a little Thai from his grandmother I’m a single mom so I taught him both. I just try to keep it in full sentences when I speak to them. I’m a little concerned about my youngest he is 18 Month now and can only say mama, dada and tree. He started walking at 12 month and started saying mama and dada since he was 12 Month as well but there havnt been no extra words besides tree when I recently put up the Christmas tree. He does understand when you tell him something but he just babbels a bunch of words that don’t make any sense the usual baby talk. I ask my pediatrician but whenever I do she doesn’t seem too worried about anything and says to wait until he is 2. My question should I be concerned?

  22. I got my 18 month old son the first word cards and the fake foods. He seems to reach for the right card but then he wants to just run around with the card and yells at me in frustration if I continue trying to play the game with him. Same story with the foods. He will only run around with them and put them somewhere. So basically he turns every exercise into his own game. As he is walking around I try to still tell him what he has in his hand but he is not really listening.. Any advice?

  23. My daughter is 18 months. She does not speak at all and I am worried. We have cards, but she has no interest in repeating words. She points and gestures alot and will take you to the fridge if she is hungry. I repeat simple words to her, like banana, cat, dog, car. But she just nods and points. It's getting difficult because she may start nursery soon and the carers there won't know what she wants, were as I know all her gestures and sounds he makes. Should I see a doctor? Or is she just developing slower? I don't want it to hinder her future learning

  24. My 15 month old hasnt said any words yet. He also doesnt mimick any words or sounds I say – even at his daycare. Is there a way I can get him to start copying me?

  25. Thank you so much all three of my grandkids are not speaking the way they should.The youngest one is a yr and the oldest is 3 the middle one is 2

  26. i want some information that: my child know these 4 stages. He speaks words but not individualy only when i tell him or anyone else . he is going to be 7 years old . i want him to talk as individual and to speak sentences please guide me what should i do to make him talk sentence. i have subscribed ur channel and add to favourites. plz answer??????????? THANK U!

  27. I was so happy to watch this because I am always looking for new ways to help my toddler, however when you said “You would eat bread, if your Spanish”. You actually lost me. Besides that your video was informative.

  28. my son is turning 3 next month. He's beginning to say more words now bc i was speaking to him Spanish more than English. But i got scared he might not develop his English so i switched it back to English. How do i go about teaching him two languages. How do i get him to become fluent in both?

  29. I need your help to make my child ready to talk he is three but still not able to speak. He hears but don't response. He enjoys poems cartons knows numbers counting alphates shapes and colors name even try to speak all things in his own language but don't talk and reply

  30. My 4yr old is intelligent and sharp but she has a hard time pronouncing the words and letters and still talk like a baby but talks a lot but recently I've been able to understand the words because all my kids repeat the same things over and over again. But overall she is making some efforts

  31. Hi, mi hija de 1a7m sabe mucho ya que use siempre la comunicaciòn directa con ella al hablarle y demostrarle el sonido y uso de cada cosa, pero, tengo una situaciòn cuando se trata de la palabra "hambre o comida" siento que no entiende el concepto, no se si es q me estoy adelantando igual que con "color". Ella usualmente pide por nombre lo que quiere cuando lo ve, asi es como se.

  32. this is a great video. as a mother of two boys, one who is high functioning autistic, and my second was speech delayed but now he has articulation and this video is very accurate on starting speech therapy. my 20 month old is doing speech therapy and this is how her therapist starts also.

  33. Very helpful!! My son is 2 yr old has autism has no words yet. May this video can help us to get better, thanks for the video!

  34. Wow, this is really disturbing!
    That might be the way to work with children who, for whatever reason, are far behind in their speech development, but suggesting something like this to parents of "normal" babies ist just sick.
    She already talkes bullshit right at the beginning, when she claims at 12-13 months a baby SHOULD speak it's first word, pretending like it's something to worry about, if they don't. That's complete nonsense and if she really is a speech therapist, she should now better. Yes, many babies say their first word at that age – or they babble something their parents in their joy interpret as a first word – but there is absolutely nothing wrong with a baby who doesn't. Apart from "Mama" and similar words, most children start saying more words at around 15-18 months. And those words are not "perfect", they are simply a start in talking, words which often only people close to the child understand.

    This method of saying a single word to a baby over and over again, with a flashcard (or a toy) in hand and waiting for the child to parrot it, is creepy. A baby and small child learns to speak through interaction and communication with their loved ones. Something most caregivers do automatically from birth – you talk to them, sing to them, make funny noises, etc. When they are older you start reading/looking at books to/with them, the child points to things and you name them.
    A loooooong time before they can speak, they understand a lot of what is being said, they even take in the grammar and can distinguish between languages when they are still very small.

    Absolutely NO baby/toddler with average speech development needs the stuff promoted in this video. Honestly, it might even be bad for speech development. Yes, if you tell them "wuff wuff" and other noises a thousand times, until they repeat it, they may say those words sooner than babies who are not forced to take specific lessons for something they learn naturally. But speech development is not about accumulating as many words (or noises) as soon as possible. It's about much more than that, like I wrote above (understanding the meaning, grammar, …).
    And all that time you spend waving a toy animal in front of your baby's face, repeating the same sound over and over again, you could instead spend to actually communicate with your child.


  36. Hi Patricia,
    My 11 month old baby has very high receptive language but not much expressive language. She does sometimes babble, using mostly vowel sounds combined with /b/ , /g/ and /d/ consonants. She has a nanny in our home who plays, sings, and talks with her daily and absolutely loves music but does not sing to it. We try things like singing to her and letting her fill in missing word from song she would know and she just smiles and laughs. How can I get her to be more expressive with her language?! If I say our family dog, Daisy, she will look at daisy but will never say or imitate her name. I have been trying to work with her with expressive language (I am an elementary/special educator) but I have seen no improvement with expressive language.

  37. Hi maam may i ask why is my 4 year old son cannot construct words in a sentence but he can speak single words?

  38. You are actually amazing thankyou, going to try all these out for 6 weeks then i will comment back again!

  39. How about a child who is above three and can’t speak but just be making sounds like wawawa or just bubbling the lips

  40. My daughter turn 18 months next week and doesn’t say more than a mama dada and other babbling words. She’s very active and would never sit long enough for one of these exercises. Also when asked questions she gets frustrated, any suggestions?

  41. Please drop the "choo-choo". We don't say that in real life, we say "train". I advise against baby talk. jmo

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