Katie Alcock and fellow researchers at Lancaster University in Britain studied 120 toddlers and carried out a series of tests to identify skills that might predict a child's ability to develop language.
They looked at the infants' ability to perform hand gestures and mouth movements and to carry out tasks involving puzzles and pretend play, reported the online edition of BBC News.
The children's language ability was also assessed through a parental questionnaire, word games with simple images, and monitoring during normal play.
Toddlers go through a period of very rapid language development and those who get the ability to perform complex mouth movements such as blowing bubbles and licking their lips have better language development skills, the researchers say.
The study also found children who were good at "pretending" an object was something else had better language skills.
Apart from oral motor skills (like blowing bubbles), the study found that hand gestures such as waving or making shapes were associated with better language development. However, other movements such as walking and running were not.
(Source: IANS News)