Resources - Learning to Talk 2 (2 1/2 - 5 Years)
From the time they are born, children are learning about
communication and are getting ready to read and write. The
sooner we see children with delayed speech and language,
the more we can help them to be
successful in school and in life!
Give clear examples, but don’t tell your child
what to say.
- Repeat what she says correctly. If she says, "My
boon falled down!" you could say, "Your spoon
fell down. Oops! Let’s get a clean one." Don’t tell
her to say it again. If you say, "Don’t say 'boon,'
say 'spoon'," you are telling
her that there is something
wrong with the way she
- Talk to your child. Explain
what you are doing.
Name different things
- Listen to your child.
Encourage your child to
describe things and to
make up stories.
Join in and take turns with
words and actions.
- Play turn-taking games and
help your child to learn to play
by the rules. Play games like
Simon Says, What Time is it Mr.
Wolf?, Red Light Green Light,
and board games or card
- Take turns in daily routines
(e.g. sweeping the floor,
adding ingredients to a
- Take turns going down the
slide or pushing each other on
- Take turns turning the pages
and telling the story in a book.
Introduce new words and model longer and more
complicated sentences. Add new ideas to your
- When your child is getting dressed, if your child
says, "I like green," you could say, "I like green too,
but I prefer dark blue." When you do this, you are
giving your child examples to
- Don't just say "run;" say
"skip," "tip-toe," "sprint."
Don’t just say "big," say
"huge," "gigantic," or
- When you read with
your child, ask questions
like, "What do you think
will happen next?" "Why
do you think she did
that?" "I wonder…"
"How do you think he
Pretend play helps your child to think and to use
language in new ways.
- Join in the play and use comments like, "I wish… "
"I wonder what would happen if…" "Imagine if…"
- Encourage your child to use his imagination and
to write down or draw his thoughts. Act out a
story with puppets.
- Play dress up. Pretend to be firefighters,
- Sing and dance together. Make up your own
silly songs and dances.
6. Limit TV, Computer and All Electronic Devices - Print Version
Pediatricians recommend no TV or computer for
children under 2, and no more than 1-2 hours of
supervised daily screen time for older children.
- TV and electronic games can be entertaining,
but children will not learn the skills they need
from screens. Children’s brains are wired to
learn from playing and talking with real people.
- Turn off the TV and computer during meals,
when visitors arrive, and whenever you are
not actually using them. Don’t use the TV as
7. Encourage Reading, Writing and Math - Print Version
Children are more successful at school when they
arrive with some basic skills.
- Let your child see you reading, writing, and using
numbers in their everyday world. Read labels, signs,
menus and prices aloud. Talk about the words and
numbers as you read them with your child.
- Play letter and number games together.
- Count out loud, compare and sort objects. When
you are setting the table, count the dishes you will
need. Sort the knives, forks and spoons.
- Read to your child every day. Find letters and words.
Let your child "read" to you. You don’t have to read
the words on the
page – tell a story
from the pictures!
Connect the story to
your child’s life (e.g.
"We saw one of those
Children need to learn
to follow routines and
to behave as part of
a group before they
start school. They also
need to learn to play
other children and to
respect the feelings and
opinions of others.
- Arrange play dates with other children. Remind
your child that, "We all like different things and
- Participate in playgroups, library story time
programs, swimming lessons, gymnastics classes,
nursery school, soccer or t-ball teams. Daycare is
also a great option.
- Play games together as a family.
- Take your child lots of places (e.g. the grocery store,
the library, community events, or the art gallery).