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Talk, Listen, and Learn

Young children are developing their ability to express themselves through language. You can help your child build vocabulary and conversation skills by talking together.

  • Talk about your daily routine
    Say, “Let’s think of all the things we will do today. First, we will eat breakfast. Next, we will put on our coats, and then we will walk to the bus stop.” Encourage your child to tell you what will happen first, second, and third.
  • Encourage descriptions
    Look around and encourage your child to describe the things he sees. Say, “Tell me about the pictures on that store window,” or “Tell me about the sounds of nature you hear. Do you hear the wind rustle or the birds chirping?”
  • Read together
    Encourage your child to describe pictures in books and magazines.  Say, “Tell me what you see in the picture.” Repeat what your child says and expand on her ideas.  Say, “Yes, I see the tiger in the picture, too! That tiger has orange and black stripes on her fur.”
  • Build vocabulary
    Expand your child’s knowledge of descriptive words. Say, “This apple is crunchy on my teeth and the skin is shiny,” or “The toothbrush bristles feel prickly on my tongue.”

IEL Resources

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home
  • Family Child Care
  • Preschool Program
  • Kindergarten

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2016