My favorite thing to do - observing and listening. We should do more of it whenever possible. Sometimes I think people are so interested in what they, personally have to say, not much listening is going on. Sometimes children have a difficult time with this aspect of language. So how, as a parent, do we help do this with our child? It is one of the components to social interaction and one of the many facets of language - learn turn-taking in conversation; which means we wait our turn and listen to the other part of the conversation.
There is nothing more natural to a child than their parents voice; and of course, that natural environment of listening; especially as parents have conversation within the home setting. There is nothing more natural than a parent reading to their child and the child is listening to all parts of speech, language, and behavior that make the story stand out! Of course, there is nothing more inviting than home and being with mommy and daddy listening and hopefully then in turn, speaking - with parent guidance. Notice I said listening first - because as I stated before; observe and listen. In practice; the parent is creating an auditory learning environment and in return spoken language develops and continues to grow throughout the years. I haven't strayed from anything besides a natural listening and speaking environment. Parents just have to take hold of that opportunity and make it work for them - encouraging the child to participate, encouraging the child to imitate, encouraging the child to speak out on their own and upon their turn of conversation.
Reading and any activity that stimulates the child and their attention has the attention span growing and then; creativity and imagination takes hold. Activities also support social, emotional growth. But by far the biggest part of interaction in reading and activities, is from all this observing and waiting and listening - the child starts to talk!