By the end of age two, your child should have a vocabulary of over 200 words. He or she will be able to put these words together to make simple utterances such as more cookie, or blue ball. Some children may even be talking in short sentences such as I want more cookie, or The ball is blue. Again, I must stress that every child learns and develops at his or her own pace.
During this stage your child will be able to point at objects and pictures as you name them. By the end of the stage they may be able to name objects and pictures as you or they point them out. Talking to your child at this time is extremely important. When he or she says a word or simple utterance, expand on what they say.
For example if they say ball, you could say Yes that is a blue ball, or I see that is a big ball. Also point out sounds by stressing that ball starts with the buh, buh, buh sound. Take walks with your child through the house or outside and talk about the things you see.
At bath time you can use bath crayons to write simple words such as their name, or the colors of the crayons. During this time you can start using books with short sentences of three or four words on each page. Continue to use your old favorite books as well, this way your child can start pointing at the pictures and naming them for you.
Make sure that you discuss the book with your child. At first they may not participate in the discussion but eventually they will. Do not push your child. This needs to be a stress free and enjoyable time for you both. Reading is supposed to be fun, not a chore. Many parents find that their child will not sit and listen to a book.
If this is true for you, only read as long as your child is willing to listen. Or just go through the book and talk about the pictures. Another trick you might like to use is to sit and start reading aloud. Your child may eventually come over to see what you are doing. This trick works for many different situations! Some other activities that you could share at this time are: continue to sing songs and rhymes, model play dough into letters, color pictures and label them, make cards for family and friends, create a book with labels using family members or your child's favorite animals, or label objects throughout your house, at bath time you can use bath crayons to write simple words such as their name, or the colors of the crayons.
Make sure to show your child their name and point out each letter as you say it. Label all of their art work with their name so they become used to seeing it. You can also talk about the letters in their names in terms of what each letter sounds like and other words that may start with those letters. For the name Cole I would say, Cole is spelled C, O, L, E. Point to each letter as you say it. C says kuh ,kuh, kuh, kuh.
Cat, corn, and cow all start with C to. Continue in this fashion until you have used each letter. Just by talking about letters and sounds you are getting them started.
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