Create VERBAL ROUTINES and get your toddler talking!

Create VERBAL ROUTINES and get your toddler talking!

Create VERBAL ROUTINES and get your toddler talking!

VERBAL ROUTINES consist of words that are repeated at a predictable time during an activity. A verbal routine occurs any time a person says the same words, in the same way, for the same things, every time a specific activity occurs.

Introducing Verbal routines in your daily set of activities can be a great way to promote speech and language skills of your young child in his everyday life.

VERBAL ROUTINES and get your toddler talking

A common Verbal routine that all mothers can use at any time is “Get Set Go” or “One, Two Three Start” You can use this verbal routine in a variety of situations like before pushing the swing, before starting to eat, before singing a song, before starting to dance, before giving your child a bath.. etc

As your child learns these routines, you can PAUSE at key points to see if they can fill the gap by speaking out the missing words.

You can create your own Verbal Routines depending on your schedule and interests. You can use this sheet to make your own Verbal Routines. Writing them down will help stick them in your mind so that you can use them while running your day with your child.

Here are some examples fot the various activities during a typical day.


Repeated Phrases

Waking up Good Morning, Wake up time../ Rise and Shine
Bath Time Lets clean up! Its time for bath../ Water is ready lets take bath
Getting dressed/Diaper change Aha! let’s get dressed/ Let us get ready for the day!
Meals I amhungry?/ Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner time
Napping Oh Im tired, lets snooze/ Lets take a small nap now
Going out Yay! I want to go out/ Let’s go out in the car..
Playing I want to play with blocks/ Let’s play together
Praying Fold your hands /Bow your head/ Lets say a prayer
Bedtime Good night, Its bedtime/ Sleepy time, let’s tuck in bed..

Verbal Routines and Repetitions help in sticking the words in your child’s auditory and working memory. The more a child hears the same words in a particular context, the better he associates with what is being said to him. Chances are that after hearing the same word again and again in a language stimulating context he might start speaking those words when given an opportunity like when paused for him to fill the blank or when asked a question.

Simple Fun Examples of Verbal Routines while playing with your child —

  1. Bubble Play : Take a bubble wand and while blowing say – “Yay!! bubble bubble blow, bubble bubble POP!”
  2. Play Dough Play : “Sticky Sticky Sticky Dough, Roll Roll here you go!”
  3. Doll Play : “Pretty Pretty Dolly, Smile please..Pretty Pretty Dolly Let’s cuddle & squeeze!”
  4. Car Play : “Beep Beep Beep, My Car drives Beep”

playing with your child

Many Songs are repetitive in nature and have Verbal Routines. Some examples -1. Old Mac Donald had a farm
2. Wheels on the Bus
3. This is the way I brush my teeth
4. The Ants go marching
5. Jelly on the Plate

Many Books use this concept of verbal routines. Some easily available books that encourage verbal routines and repetitive texts are –
1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin and Eric Carle
2. Panda Bear Panda Bear by Bill Martin and Eric Carle
3. Cat the Cat Who is That? by Mo Willems.
4. Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
5. Pete the Cat: I love my White Shoes by James Dean and Eric Litwin

Establishing Verbal routines can also be great for children with Speech-Language delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and other childhood communication difficulties.

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Pratiksha Gupta
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