You are overjoyed when your child starts to pronounce their first words. Often, they begin doing this around age one, but their ability to speak develops gradually afterwards. By month 18, they learn to say 50 words. In their second year, they will know how to put 2 or 3 words together in one small sentence. You will take even more joy in the process after their third year, and when you celebrate their fifth birthday, you’ll be surprised by their new ability to tell stories…
From 3 to 4 Years Old
Your child is your hero. If they say a new word, you clap and tell everyone around you.
- They can compose a sentence of at most 4 words and will tell you what happened to them during the day.
- Talk to them constantly, choosing subjects they enjoy, like cartoon characters.
In your free time, read stories to them, and why not discuss the plot with them as well? For example, ask them to find a solution to the problem the main character is facing.
- If they’re not able to express themselves clearly, help them by asking questions. Feeling that you care will push them to make the effort to communicate with you.
- Playing with them is helpful, too; if you ask them to call drawings by their names, they will learn new words.
From 4 to 5 Years Old
When your child reaches their fourth year, they’ll start understanding what’s said to them.
- This means they can communicate with both grown-ups and children.
- They describe details; if they want to eat an apple, they say so: “Mama, I want a big red apple.”
- They focus more on the plots of stories and ask questions.
- Be patient in explaining the meanings of new words. For example, teach them to differentiate between the means of transportation: car, bus, plane, etc.
- If you have things to do, involve them. For example, don’t refuse to let them help you prepare food; talk to them and name the ingredients.
- Don’t stop reading stories to them, and ask them to imagine what will happen next.
- Watch their favourite programs with them. Sit next to them and ask questions that start with “What?”, “Why?” and “Who?” That will be helpful in making them form sentences.
- Play sound games with them by getting them to come up with words with similar sounds, like “box” and “fox”, “horn” and “corn”, etc.