Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development: Two to Four Year Olds

Compiled by: Lilya Popovetsky, MA SpEd, CAS, SDA

  • Use good speech that is clear and simple for your child to model.
  • Repeat what your child says indicating that you understand. Build and expand on what was said. “Want juice? I have juice. I have apple juice. Do you want apple juice?”
  • Use baby talk only if needed to convey the message and when accompanied by the adult word. “It is time for din-din. We will have dinner now.”
  • Make a scrapbook of favorite or familiar things by cutting out pictures. Group them into categories, such as things to ride on, things to eat, things for dessert, fruits, things to play.
  • Help your child understand and ask questions. Play the yes-no game. Ask questions such as “Are you a boy?” “Are you Marty?” “Can a pig fly?” Encourage your child to make up questions and try to fool you.
  • Ask questions that require a choice. “Do you want an apple or an orange?” “Do you want to wear your red or blue shirt?”
  • Expand vocabulary. Name body parts, and identify what you do with them. “This is my nose. I can smell flowers, brownies, popcorn, and soap.”
  • Sing simple songs and recite nursery rhymes to show the rhythm and pattern of speech.
  • Place familiar objects in a container. Have your child remove the object and tell you what it is called and how to use it. “This is my ball. I bounce it. I play with it.”
  • Use photographs of familiar people and places, and retell what happened or make up a new story.

Lilya Popovetsky, MA SpEd, CAS, SDA is the founder of A Multilingual Development Agency, an Early Intervention agency for children from birth to three years old in Nassau County, NY.She obtained a Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in Early Childhood Special Education, with a dual certification in General Education.Lilya went on to complete two educational administration degrees from Hofstra University.

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