SPEECH MILESTONES FOR TWO-YEAR-OLDS
Ah, the delightful Twos! Two year olds really understand the power of communication, and this is where we see the notorious ‘terrible twos’ emerge. They’re not really terrible, but your toddler has discovered their voice, independence, and the knowledge (and words) to tell you all about it. This can be challenging to deal with at times.
Two year olds are really starting to show us what they know and understand. They can follow two part instructions (e.g. give me the car and the ball) and point to body parts and pictures when they’re named. They’re able to understand and answer when we ask them ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘who’ questions. It’s harder to notice but they also understand the difference between a hat being ‘on’ a chair and ‘under’ a chair.
This is the age where they are putting two words together, to start building sentences. They’ve usually got at least 50 individual words to use and this is growing rapidly. Early word combinations are usually around their interests and desires, such as ‘more juice’, ‘all gone’ ‘my ball’ and ‘teddy gone’. The use of ‘mine’ and ‘my’ can be very frequent!
They are also starting to ask questions, now that they can put two words together (e.g. ‘daddy gone?’).
Two year olds’ play skills are also developing rapidly, where they can start to use imaginative play and pretend play. This encourages further language development and is one of the key times when children learn new words. Make it a priority to spend some time playing with your toddler, at their level, with what they want to play. Talking about what they are doing, what you are doing, asking questions and encouraging back and forth conversation will have their little brains rapidly storing all the new information.
This is also a good age to talk about describing words (colours, shapes, sizes). You can describe the clothes they are wearing, what they can see in books, and how they are doing things (carefully, quickly, slowly). Next time they go on a swing, talk about whether they want to go high or low, slow or fast or maybe even spin around!
Children generally start building their word bank up with nouns (dog, ball, teddy). When it comes to joining words, nouns alone won’t make a sentence or phrase.
The more action words and describing words your child has, the more word combinations they can start to put together.
As your toddler continues to practice using their new words, how they say the words (i.e. their
‘speech’) continues to change and improve. Two year olds have many consonant sounds (e.g. d, p, n, m, k, g, t, h) but they are likely to make a few mistakes. At this age, saying ‘dar’ for ‘star’ is still okay! You may also need to translate your toddler’s talk for others if they can’t understand them. As they get closer to 3, you should find yourself translating for others less and less.
If you have concerns or even questions about your child’s speech or language development, give Teagan and the team at Talk Time a call on 4045 4615.