Toddler Language Development and Speech Skills - FamilyEducation

Language Development

Whether your tot is a babbler or mum's the word, learn about her speech development.

Abbreviate It

Abbreviate ItTime 10 to 15 minutes Materials None Directions Teach the concept of abbreviating in a playful way. One of you thinks of two letters that the other has to turn into a phrase that matches the abbreviation. For example, FS could mean "feeling silly." Keep going as long as you can without getting stumped. Extensions read more
Acting out Verbs Activity for Kids

Action Words

Action WordsDirectionsread more

Activities for Age Three

Activities for Age ThreeThese activities will enrich children's language development and enhance emergent math and literacy skills. Building Reading Skills Literatureread more

Anagrams Activity

Anagrams ActivityAnagrams are pairs or groups of words that use exactly the same letters in different order, for example: pills/spill and eat/tea. Directionsread more

Backward Day

Backward DayTime All day Materials Common items used for self-care Directions Do your day backward. For example, you might begin the day with dinner, brush your teeth before you eat, put on your shoes before your shirt, or comb your hair and then mess it up. Extensions read more


BackwordsDirections Choose a word, then challenge your child to reverse the letters of the word (in his head or on paper) and say it backward. For example, tree becomes eert, car becomes rac, and so on. If you like, start with simple one-syllable words. As your child becomes more skilled at this game, challenge him to reverse words with digraphs (pairs of letters, such as sh, that each represent a single sound), words with silent letters, multisyllabic words, and complete sentences. read more
Characteristics Checklist for Asperger's Syndrome: Language Skills

Characteristics Checklist for Asperger's Syndrome: Language Skills

Print out and use this checklist to help in an initial diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome in your child. You can find more checklists on Asperger's syndrome more

Could Meningitis Cause Slurred Speech?

A problem with speech is probably not related to a central nervous system infection during the first month of more
Curious George's Opposites

Curious George's Opposites

Build young children's vocabulary and teach them about opposites with this illustrated Curious George more
Curious George's Transportation

Curious George's Transportation

Explore the many ways Curious George traveled during his adventures. This printable activity uses illustrations to review transportation more

Delayed Speech Development

A parent seeks help for her son, aged two years nine months, who has delayed speech more


The vocabulary words used in this lesson stem from realism literature. Students are asked to explore the denotated/connotated meanings of the words in several more
Describing Letter to Parents

Describing Letter to Parents

This letter to be sent home to parents suggests some activities for them to do with their child to enhance describing more
Describing Letter to Parents - Spanish Version

Describing Letter to Parents - Spanish Version

This letter (in Spanish) to be sent home to parents suggests some activities for them to do with their child to enhance describing more

Dictionary Name Game

Dictionary Name Game Required: Dictionary Pen and paper What's in a name? A great opportunity for learning new words—with the help of a more

Ear Infections and Language Development

Ear Infections and Language Development Otitis media, an inflammation of the middle ear (behind the eardrum), is one of the most common illnesses of childhood. There are two different types of otitis media. Either can occur in one or both ears. read more

Flashlight Fun for Toddlers

Flashlight Fun for ToddlersMaterials Flashlight Directions Shine a flashlight on different parts of a room: a wall, the door, the floor, and so on. Each time you shine the light on an object, name it: for example, "This is the bed." Show your child how to turn the flashlight on and off. Let her shine it on various objects and name them. Give her directions to follow, such as "Shine the light on the ceiling." read more

Foreign Languages and English Grammar

Exposure to more than one language will reinforce mastery of syntax for gifted more

Fun with Words

Fun with WordsDirections Ask your child to tell you what certain words mean to him. Pick out everyday words that he has likely heard before. Some suggestions to get you started: concrete, marriage, retire, divorce, bachelor, anniversary, occasion, special, obedient, country. You may be surprised to find that some of the words in your child's vocabulary are something of a mystery to him. Some of the answers you get will be priceless; write them down for posterity! read more
Hand in Glove

Hand in Glove

Pick a word from each hand and match it to a glove, to form words that always seem to go more

Homeschooling and Speech Disability

Speech programs tend not to be particularly helpful. Maturity is the biggest factor for attaining clear more

How to Have a Conversation with Your Three-Year-Old

How to Have a Conversation with Your Three-Year-Old Your child's improving language skills, combined with his increased attention span, makes sustained conversations possible at age three. And the more conversation, the better. Your modeling of good language skills is more important than more

How to Help a Preschooler Who Stutters

How to Help a Preschooler Who Stutters You may be concerned if your preschooler starts to stutter and stammer a lot. Don't worry about it. Stuttering and stammering are common at this age due to the lag between a three-year-old's ability to think and his ability to form words. Especially when he's excited or upset, your child's ideas will probably out race his more

How Well Do You Know Preschoolers?

Take our quiz to find out if you have the right expectations for your three- or more

I Spy Word Recognition

I Spy Word RecognitionDirections This word game can help develop your child's shape and color recognition skills. As you drive or walk along, say "I spy with my little eye something that is orange," or "... something that is square." Your child will have fun guessing what it is you see. Take turns guessing what the other sees. read more
Imagine That!

Imagine That!

Imagine a different first letter on each word in this word game, and you'll get a completely different thing!read more

Language Play

Language PlayDirections Learn simple words in different languages. Teach your child to count to ten in other languages and to say simple words like "hello," "good-bye," and "thank you." Have a theme day when you locate a country on the map and talk about the unique aspects of its location. Talk about the language spoken there and, if possible, learn several words in that language. Serve a special lunch or snack that originated, or is popular, in that country. read more

Linguistic Quick Tips

Linguistic Quick TipsYou can help your children continue to develop their word smarts by:Taking them on frequent trips to the library. Making sure they have access to a variety of books and, if possible, books with read-along cassettes. Asking them to keep a journal or diary. Asking them to write and read aloud a summary of your family's weekly activities. read more

Magic Bag

Magic BagTime 10 to 15 minutes Materials Old purseSmall items that can't be swallowed, like model cars, playing cards, animal cookies, old key sets, little books Directions Your child will want to share the wonder of each discovery if you fill a purse with the small items (that are too big to be swallowed) and sit down to watch your child remove them.Talk about each item that emerges. Extensions read more

Make a Tape

Make a TapeMaterials Tape recorder Blank cassette tapeDirections If you have access to a tape recorder, help your child make a tape for Dad to play on his way to work. Sing favorite songs, say nursery rhymes, tell him a story, talk about what you do when he's at work, tell him you love him and why you're thankful for him. This makes a great Father's Day gift. You can also use this idea for a grandparent or other special person. read more