Some days it seems like my toddlers only have one volume. LOUD. Not just loud as in your favorite song just came on the radio so you turn it up, but LOUD. Like someone decided it might be fun to switch your alarm clock out for a jet engine mid-take-off. They can rattle your brain, make your ears ring, and sometimes even send you looking for the ibuprofen. Teaching them appropriate volumes for different places can be tricky. Especially if they get excited going down the aisle where Clifford resides at the library. Maybe that’s just my kids 🙂
We have a “volume button”. (I wish it were real!) But with Mr. T when he gets too loud, I can use my pretend volume button and “turn down” the volume while telling him to “turn it down”. If he’s whispering and I can’t understand I can tell him to turn it up while turning my pretend volume button up. It didn’t take him long to understand and usually to acquiesce. This method is really useful when he’s across the room because he can still see me “turning” the button and he generally knows which direction his volume needs to go to become more pleasant.
Another way to teach your toddler is to make a list, with pictures if you want to get crafty, of different places you go and talk about the proper volume for talking while you are there. The Post Office would be normal volume. Church would be super low volume during prayers and the message, and joyfully loud (not screaming) when singing. The Library would be a low volume. Outside on the playground can be a loud volume! Once you go over it a few times, you can make it into a game and just be silly and have fun.
When you are out visiting the places, gentle reminders when your toddlers volume level isn’t appropriate can bring them quickly back to the volume they should be using. Try to learn your toddlers cues because sometimes the loud or soft voices are telling you they need a break from wherever you are. Especially in loud environments, toddlers can become overwhelmed and their need to drown out the noise makes them get louder. These episodes usually require removal of the toddler and a few minutes to calm down and process the environment. Keep your patience and show your little ones grace. They will eventually learn how to speak at appropriate levels wherever they may be. What do you use for teaching inside/outside voices in your homeschool?