Tell Me More
When your child says a word to name an object, add a new word to describe the object.
For example, if they say:
- My shoes! or My truck!
You can say:
- Those are your blue shoes! or That is your shiny truck!
Add one new word at a time to help grow your child’s language.
Do this activity all through the day. Your child learns to talk when they listen to you talk.
Fill in the Blanks
Read or tell a favorite story to your child. After you have read the story together a few times, ask if they can help you tell the story. Start reading, and when you come to a place where you think they know what will happen next, you can say, “what happens next?” Or “and then what happened?” See if they can “fill in” the story.
Let’s say you are telling a story about three little pigs who build houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks. And there is a wolf who is trying to blow their houses down. When you come to the part where the wolf is at the first pig’s house, ask:
- And then what did the wolf say?
After reading about the second pig, ask:
- What did the second pig use to build her house? (Sticks!)
After reading about the third pig, ask:
- What did the third pig use to build her house? (Bricks!)
Help your child learn the words in the story. You’ll be surprised at how well they can remember a story!
Read with Me!
Find a few minutes every day to read to your child. You can try it at the same time each day, like making it a part of bedtime. You can choose a special place for reading, a special chair, or a blanket with pillows on the floor.
Let your child sit on your lap as you read together. Don’t be surprised if they want to read the same book over and over. After you read the book, pretend to be the characters in the book. If you read about a kitten, pretend to be kittens “meowing” and doing the actions from the book.
Reading with your child on your lap will make them feel special and loved.
Take a walk with your child around the neighborhood or around the house and look for opposites. For example, help your child find a big leaf, and a small leaf. Or a smooth rock and a rough rock. In the house you can look for a big toy and a small toy. Or a cold drink and warm drink.
Make it into a game and play it with your child whenever you can. Talk with your child about the items and how they are different.
Think of a group of things like “names of people you know” or “parts of your body.” Give your child an example, and then help them think of things that fit into the category.
Try to make the categories easy so your child can come up with several things that fit. If they say something that doesn’t fit in the category, talk with them about why it doesn’t fit.
As they are nearing three years old, your toddler may be ready to play this word game. You can play this sorting game with words when you want a quiet activity. It is perfect for riding in a car or bus.