Tips

Read often. Ask your child questions about what they see on the page or what they think will happen next. Ask “What is that?” and “What is this for?” “Why do you think she did that?”

Expand their sentences without correcting their grammar. If they say “me do,” casually repeat what they mean, such as, “OK. Do you want to put your red socks on?”

Repeat new words often. Keep new words active by using them over the next few days and weeks. Find as many new ways to use the words as you can. For example, first say enormous means really big. Then, “Remember that big tractor we saw? It was enormous. What is something else that is enormous?”

Be descriptive. Instead of simply labeling objects, describe them. Talk about how something looks, feels, or tastes. If you’re at the supermarket, pick up an apple and say, “This apple is round and red. Let’s feel it; wow, the skin is so smooth.”

Keep conversations rolling by expanding on your toddler’s words and short sentences. If they say, ‘cat,’ say, ‘Yes, that is a cat! It’s a black cat. What’s the cat doing?”

Use grown-up words in normal conversation. Encourage your toddler to ask you what a new word means.

Talk during your normal daily activities. Say, “I’m washing the dishes with warm soapy water,” or “I’m looking in the closet for my green rain coat. It’s raining today. What else do we need to go outside when it is raining? An umbrella.”

Take your child to different places. If you are at a new park, discuss the surroundings. Bring certain objects to their attention. Ask them questions about these objects and tell them what things are.