Speech Development for Toddlers 36 – 48 Months

In child speech development, most four year olds can:

  • Can tell a story
  • Have a sentence length of 4-5 words
  • Have a vocabulary of nearly 1,000 words
  • Can name at least one color
  • Understand “yesterday,” “summer”, “lunchtime”, “tonight”, “little-big”
  • Begin to obey requests like “put the block under the chair”
  • Know his or her last name, name of street on which he/she lives and several nursery rhymes

Parenting Tips for Speech Skills

Suggested play to help a toddler between 3 and 4 years develop its speech skills:

  • Where do they live? Help your child learn directions by talking about where animals live. When you see birds flying, mention that they fly up in the sky. See a bunny? Ask your child if it can find their bunny hole, under the ground. When you see a rock, ask your child if they think any bugs live under it, then pick up the rock to find out!
  • Make a weather report. Have your child look outside every morning and tell you the weather. If you have a large calendar, your child can draw a sun on the calendar when the sun shines or rain drops when its raining. On cloudy days, your child can draw clouds on the calendar.
  • Happy birthday! Start a tradition of making birthday cards for your relatives. Your toddler will enjoy making the card. He or she can draw a picture and decorate it with stickers. With your help, your child can even write Happy Birthday. Then mail the card. Your child will feel proud when the recipient thanks them for the special card.
  • Become an author. Your child can start to make up its own stories. Write them down on paper as he/she tells them to you. Have your child draw a cover, then attach the pages and you just made your child’s first book. You might even want to laminate the pages so your child can read it again and again.
  • How many can we find? Traveling in a bus or car is the perfect time to play this game. Start with animals. I wonder how many animals we can see today. Then start pointing out all the dogs and cats you see. Don’t forget the dog on the billboard or store sign. Playing how many pumpkins can we find is fun around Halloween. On a rainy day, you might loose count if you look for umbrellas!
  • Play copy cat. Develop memory skills and have fun by having your child copy your actions. Tell your child you want him or her to copy what you do. First, pat your head. Then tell you child to do what you did. Next, flap your arms like a bird. Have your child pat his/her head and flap his/her arms. Add a clap and a wink. See how long you can go!
  • What comes next? When you’re reading a book that your child loves, pause for a moment and see if they are able to give you the next word. Repeat this periodically as you’re reading.