The Power of Talk, Sing, Read, and Play!

By Roxane Bélanger, M.O.A., SLP-C, Reg. CALSPO Speech Language Pathologist, First Words Preschool Speech and Language Program of Ottawa and Renfrew County January 17, 2024

As we head into the New Year and make resolutions (or not!), let’s remind ourselves that the most important tools to support our kids’ language development are at your fingertips. How? Talking, singing, reading, and playing are daily activities that support language skills!

  • Brain Boost: Did you know that engaging in conversations, singing tunes, reading stories, and playful activities actually stimulate the brain? These interactions build neural connections, enhancing a child's cognitive abilities and setting the stage for language development!
  • Melodies of Literacy: Singing isn't just for the shower! Incorporating melodies into your child's routine helps them recognize patterns in language, improves vocabulary, and boosts their phonemic awareness. So, let's turn every day into a musical adventure!
  • Storytelling Magic: Reading aloud introduces little ones to a world of imagination and vocabulary. It's not just about the words on the page; it's about the bonding experience, the joy of exploration, and the foundation laid for strong language skills.
  • Playtime Fun: Play is a child's language laboratory! Through games, they learn to express themselves, understand social cues, and expand their vocabulary. So, let's roll the dice, stack the blocks, and turn playtime into a language-rich adventure!
  • The Power of Conversation: Regular conversations are like language workouts for tiny tongues and expanding brains! Talk throughout the day in daily activities. Share stories. Describe the world around you. All these activities build vocabulary, comprehension, and the confidence children need to express thoughts and ideas.
  • Building Strong Foundations: By incorporating these activities into your daily routine, you're not just fostering language development; you're building a strong foundation for communication, creativity, and lifelong learning. It's a gift that keeps on giving!

Let's inspire each other on this exciting journey of nurturing little babbling babies, talking toddlers or gabbing preschoolers. Go ahead: talk, sing, read, and play our way to language development with our little ones!

Learn more:

  • Visit the First Words website at
  • Follow us on Instagram at @firstwords_psl
  • If you are concerned about your child's communication development, complete our First Words Communication Checkup online screening tool. It is free, quick and easy to use.You can screen, get results and refer if needed in one single activity.
  • Call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at (613) 580-6744.

Recognizing speech and language problems early on is the best approach!

Use the First Words Communication Checkup tool to know if your child is meeting communication milestones. Refer online if necessary. For more information, visit or call Ottawa Public Health at (613) PARENTS.