Nurturing a 2- to 4-Year-Old's Speech and Language Development
These are some things you can do to help your 2- to
4-year-old learn new words and say longer sentences:
- Make reading a part of your child's daily
routine, and choose books that show lots of action. Ask your child to point to
familiar items and make the sounds that go with them. Say, "Point to the fire
engine" and "What sound does the fire engine make?"
- Visit the
library on a regular basis.
- Limit your child's television viewing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to limit TV time to 2 hours
a day or less.
- Add to what your child says. For example, if your
child says "red ball," you can add another word like "soft red
- Describe feelings. For example, when your child is crying
because he or she cannot go outside to play, you can say, "You are upset and
feel sad because you cannot go outside now."
- Teach your child the
correct names for common objects, such as "toes" (not "piggies") and "cut" (not
- Don't imitate your child's unclear speech, constantly
correct, or embarrass your child by making him or her repeat unclear words,
especially when other people are around. Correct your child in a positive way
by rephrasing, repeating, and relabeling.
- Encourage your child to
talk to others, including other children his or her age. But don't force your
child to talk or make him or her uncomfortable by insisting on
- Don't talk for your child. For example, allow your
child to ask you for something he or she wants.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics|
|Last Revised||December 2, 2010|