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Woman and young boy in grocery store

When you talk with your child, you are helping them learn about language. The more words children hear in conversation, the larger their vocabularies will be when they go to school. Hearing more words and phrases help children recognize new words when they see them for the first time in print.

Telling stories to children helps them develop listening skills. Letting children talk helps them learn to express themselves. Pointing out words in the world around you – on signs, buildings, labels, etc. – helps children recognize that words have meaning. In this way, they begin to connect words with ideas.

Talking Activities

  • Ask your child lots of open ended questions and wait for them to answer. It may take a minute - so be patient!
  • Make a funny face in the mirror and have your child copy the expression. Talk about what kind of face they see – grumpy, silly, mad, or surprised!
  • Use big words. The more descriptive words a child hears, the greater their vocabulary will be.
  • Pick out letters on food packages in the store and practice making the letter sounds.
  • Make up a story to go with a wordless book
  • Ask questions while you read your child a story. Why did he do that? What do you think will happen next? Can you find and put your finger on the turtle?

Additional Resources for Talking with Your Child

Turn 'Wash Time' into 'Talk Time' from Talking is Teaching
Simple Crafts and Activities that Encourage Talking


Read | Write | Sing | Play | Talk


Reading Suggestions!