Playing copy-cat games helps your child to learn and get joy from imitating the things that you do. Imitation is such an important skill for speech and language development. It can start with body movements, progress to mouth movements, sounds, and eventually words. The more skilled your child becomes at focusing on your face and attempting to copy your mouth movements, the more likely her sounds are to be accurate.
Straws for the Win
As your little guy or gal starts drinking other liquids, skip the sippy cup and go straight to having your child practice drinking from a straw cup! Prolonged use of sippy cups cause an immature swallow pattern, tooth decay, tongue thrust, and speech delay. Plus, now there are some spill proof straw cups out in the market, so you can take them on the go with you without worrying about the mess.
Read, Read, Read
Books are one of the best learning tools out there. Even if your child isn't showing much interest in them yet, don't give up on showing him the magic of an entertaining story. Add funny sound effects, incorporate a toy, touch textures, remove pop-out pieces, open flaps, and/or flip to simple pictures. Soon enough, your child will be a little, independent "bookworm" and will be consuming books as happily as he does Cheerios!