Language Development for Toddlers

Posted by admin on July 18


In our last few postings, we have focused on activities that enhance your child’s motor skills.  Our next few articles will be about developing your child’s speech and vocabulary.  We Care’s speech pathologist plans themes for the classrooms and we will be sharing these with you.

Transportation Theme

Concepts … stop/go, fast/slow

Sounds … T, Long O (go, slow)

Talking about what you see and what you’re doing is very important to help develop a child’s language.  Providing a simple narrative throughout their experiences helps children associate words with the actions and things.  Let them hear you use lots of simple verbs and labels during the day.  Children learn best through lots of exposure to the same information.  Repetition is key; that is why they never get tired of the same stories, songs, and toys


  • Use floating boats in the bathtub and talk about whether they are moving fast or slow.
  • Make a “car” out of a shoe box. Put toy people or animals in it and make it stop and go.
  • Pretend that you are police cars or fire trucks. Make loud siren sounds!  Let your child choose whether to “drive” fast or slow.  Make red stop signs and green traffic light signs.
  • Let your child help wash the car and talk about moving the sponge fast or slow.
  • Take some dump trucks to the park. Fill them with sand or dirt and pour it out quickly and slowly.
  • While getting in the car, talk about what you are doing (e.g., “First we open the door, then we sit down, and last we buckle our car seat”).

Sorting Activities:   Sort by colorAir water land

  • Collect transportation toys (boats, cars, trucks, buses, airplanes, helicopters, etc.) or use magazines/catalogs to find a variety of transportation items. Set up sorting by color by putting pieces of paper in each color of the item so that your child has something to match the item with.  You can also sort by type of transportation:  air (sky), water, and land (street) and make labels to put on paper for the items to be placed upon.  This is also a good activity to work on the sounds each item makes (e.g., engine, horn, etc.) as well as their parts (e.g., wheels, doors, windows, wipers, lights, and horn).

Transportation Book Recommendations:

The Goodnight Train by June Sobel                                          Go! Go! Go! Stop! By Charise Mericle Harper

Freight Train by Donald Crews                                                    Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw

Go, Dog, Go! by P. D. Eastman                                                   Duck on a Bike by David Shannon