Understand categories (e.g., clothes vs toys) and the concepts same/different and little/big
Understand and ask “what, where, and who” questions
Consistently use sentences 3-4 words in length
Use the pronouns “I, you, and me” correctly
Use “no, not, don’t and can’t”, but it’s ok if they sometimes make mistakes
Use the past tense -ed ending, but it’s ok if they sometimes make mistakes
Are understood by listeners approximately 90% of the time
IS YOUR TWO OR THREE-YEAR-OLD HAVING TROUBLE? TRY THESE STRATEGIES!
While reading, allow them to pick the book
Point out details within picture pictures to help them understand the story
Use new words to talk about what you are thinking and planning
Have your child practice by asking them to deliver messages to family members
Listen attentively when they talk, avoiding interruptions and corrections
“One-up” their speech… Subtly rephrase their message using one extra word
For difficulty with specific sounds, make a scrapbook of relevant pictures
BY 4 YEARS OLD, CHILDREN
Engage in make-believe play… their play involves routines they don’t typically experience
Understand the pre-reading concepts of rhyming and alliteration
Can clearly and correctly imitate words that are four syllables in length
Name colors, shapes, and count up to five objects correctly
Use a variety of pronouns, but it’s ok if they sometimes make mistakes
Use “and & but” correctly
Can answer most questions about their day
Regularly use sentences 4-5 words in length
IS YOUR FOUR-YEAR-OLD HAVING TROUBLE? TRY THESE STRATEGIES!
Bedtime stories should be longer now and have a clear beginning, middle and end
While reading, let them guess what will happen before turning the page
Practice sorting items by making piles of different kinds of dishes or clothes
Talk to them as you would anyone else… If they’re not exposed to it, they won’t learn it
Don’t expect perfection, but familiar adults should understand everything they say
BY 5 YEARS OLD, CHILDREN
Involve other children in pretend play… one pretends to be a doctor while the other is a patient
Name and state the corresponding sound for at least some letters
Understand concepts relating to time and space, such as yesterday/tomorrow and near/far
Follow multi-step directions
Define objects by their use (e.g., Q: What is a fork? A: Something you eat with)
Answer simple questions about short paragraphs when read aloud to them
Hold conversations, discuss their feelings, and create short, well-structured stories
Use the past, present, and future tenses of verbs correctly
IS YOUR FIVE-YEAR-OLD HAVING TROUBLE? TRY THESE STRATEGIES!
Create a reading time for the whole family… After all, children do what their parents do
Celebrate success by giving them a sticker for every book, even if they can’t read yet
Stimulate their thoughts, ideas, and language by allowing them to explore and be creative
Encourage them to express their feelings, dreams, ideas, etc. using open-ended questions
Talk to them as if they were older to encourage learning of advanced words and grammar
BY 6 YEARS OLD, CHILDREN
Understand most opposites and the positions “through, away, and toward”
Ask about what words mean
Use adult-like grammar in sentences and conversations
Tell stories with 4-5 different parts, major events, etc.
Are understood by everyone, but may have minor trouble with the sounds /l/ and /r/
IS YOUR SIX-YEAR-OLD HAVING TROUBLE? TRY THESE STRATEGIES!
Take turns while reading pages or whole books
When they make mistakes, be supportive, reassuring and positive!
Encourage them to read to pets or at a local animal shelter… Everyone will enjoy it
After fun outings, create picture books or stories about what they found most interesting
Ask them to remember a list of times you need at a store while running errands
Ask them to follow simple directions during routine activities (e.g., making dinner)
Play games that require problem solving, reasoning and conversations (e.g., Sorry, Clue)
Find quiet time everyday so you you can have a real conversation
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