Teaching kids animal sounds is beneficial in several ways.
Animal sounds help bridge babbling to actual words. Babbling emerges around 4-6 months of age and children typically start producing words around 12 months of age. Babbling consists of simple consonant vowel combinations like “ma”. When a child learns to say “maaa” consistently, intentionally and independently it counts as a word!!
As well, animal sounds are generally easy to imitate and are easier to say than some animal sounds. For example, “baaa” is easier to say than “sheep” and allows your little one to communicate more easily with you.
Additionally, when you are modelling and encouraging animals sounds you are also giving your child the opportunity to practice speech sounds specific to your language. For example, in English we say “quack” for a duck but in Japan they say “ga ga” because they don’t have the /kw/ sound in their language.
Finally, animal sounds are fun to use and ANYONE can engage with your little one and model animal sounds. As they play with animal sounds, they are learning how to imitate, take turns vocalizing and are attaching meaning to sounds.
Overall, teaching kids animal sounds is a simple yet effective way to promote their cognitive, linguistic, and social development.
What animal is your little one’s favourite sound to make?