For Parents
2-3 years
Language Development

Language Development

July 1, 2022

Language Development Between Ages 2 and 3

Normal Development:

  • Loves rhymes
  • Improved grammar
  • Can be understood by most strangers
  • Understands physical relationships such as under, over, in
  • Uses pronouns (I, you, me, we, they) and some plurals
  • Can say their name, age, and gender
  • Has a vocabulary of up to 1000 words
  • Asks questions correctly
  • Understands sentences with two or more ideas

What You Can Do:

  • Expand on what your child says (Child: “Grandma is here.” Parent: “She’ll be staying with us for a week,” or “She gave you a beautiful blanket with your name on it.”)
  • Ask questions
  • Encourage your child to describe things in detail
  • Use music, songs, and routines to help organize thoughts and actions
  • Speak clearly and not too fast
  • Be excited and enthusiastic when you talk, read, or tell stories
  • Talk about what you are seeing and doing, even if your child may not understand every single word.
  • Use new words to build vocabulary
  • Ask questions that require more than a yes-or-no answer
  • Be patient when waiting for answers (try not to answer for your child)

Our Advice:

  • Don’t worry about grammar. Your child will learn it over time and through their experiences in the world around them
  • Lots of kids are hard to understand early on in their language development. Give them lots of time and practice and this will improve
  • Try not to use a pacifier outside of the crib
  • Try to use straw cups or real cups whenever possible. Sippy cups can hold back language development
  • Support your child’s attempts to talk and try not to correct or criticize him her
  • Talking to your child is the best way to learn language—try not to use videos as a substitute
  • Some children speak earlier and say more words than others—that is okay

Try not to compare yourself to other parents, or your child to other children. Every child develops differently and each family is unique

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