Your 2-year-old may now be using two or three words in a phrase to talk about and ask for things. When your child does this, you can stretch his phrase into a sentence or two. You will be modeling some important rules of language: the meaning of words, how to put words together to communicate and what messages are used in different situations.
Step 1: Listen to your child and let her know you’re interested in what she is saying (or trying to say). It’s okay to ask your child to repeat what she said if you didn’t understand her.
Step 2: If your child uses one or two words to convey a message, stretch her thought by repeating her words but adding to them to make a complete sentence. For example, if your child says, “sock dirty,” you might say:
Yes, this sock is dirty. It needs to go in the washing machine with the other dirty clothes.
Be a model for your child. If your child is not using words and is still pointing to things as a way to make statements and requests, use your words to model what it is she is asking for. For example, if she points to the box of crackers to signal that she wants them, you might say:
Do you want some crackers?
Ask questions to further expand your child's conversation skills. For example you might say,
Where do you think the sock should go if it is dirty? Yes, it needs to go in the washing machine with the other dirty clothes.
Sometimes, you can add a little fun by making up a song that includes the topic of conversation. For example, you might sing or chant:
This sock is dirty…..let’s put it in the wash….it’ll come out nice and clean….so you can wear it again!
If you want to challenge yourself, you could make it rhyme!