Language Express Preschool Speech and Language Services System of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville.

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Milestones - By 5 Years - Print Version

The developmental milestones listed within each of these age groups mark the progress of young children as they learn to communicate and develop their speech and language skills. If your child is not meeting one or more of the developmental milestones or if you are concerned about your child's speech and language development please contact us at: 1-888-503-8885


  • Understands long verbal directions (“When Grandpa arrives, tell him I am outside and help him take his bag upstairs.”)
  • Understands many descriptive words: soft, hard, long, short, tallest, shortest, top, bottom
  • Understands everything you say


  • Uses almost all sounds correctly
  • Can talk about the past, present and future
  • Uses complete sentences, usually with correct grammar
  • Can explain and answer questions (“What would you do if…?”)
  • Can retell a story
  • Continues to learn new words and asks/explains what new words mean

Play Development

  • Acts out long stories with a plot and plays the roles of characters
  • Plays co-operatively with friends for long periods

Teachable Moments

  • Identify the sound at the beginning of a word: “Sun starts with “sss.”  It’s the letter S.”
  • Teach your child to recognize numbers and letters (point them out in books, do puzzles).
  • Involve your child in jobs around the house – children love to help.
  • Have your child help you bake. Talk about the amounts you measure, what order the ingredients are added, etc.
  • Ask your child thinking questions, such as “Why?” “How?” “What if…”.

Things You Can Try At Home

  • Play simple board/card games (Checkers, Snap, Tic-Tac-Toe).
  • Encourage your child to make up stories to tell or act out for you.
  • Talk about what’s happening in your life (yesterday, today, tomorrow).
  • Play dress-up.
  • Ask your child to tell you about his day (“What was the activity today?”, “Did you paint or colour today?”, “What story did you hear today?”).
  • Ask your child to predict what will happen next (“What do you think will happen if…?”).

What To Watch Out For

  • Children who appear anxious and withdrawn and won’t interact with other children or adults
  • A child with a rough, raspy voice lasting longer than one month
  • Periods of stuttering lasting more than three months