Prep: None / Activity Time: 5-10 Minutes

A fun way to see that your toddler really is learning a lot of language is to play games where he can show off all of the words he understands but cannot yet say.

  • a teddy bear or other stuffed animal with arms and legs

Step 1: Tell your toddler that you want to play a game with him and his favorite teddy bear. Sit down on the floor with the teddy bear in your lap and invite your child to sit down with you.

Step 2: Tell your child to listen to Teddy and do what he says. You can use your regular voice or change it to “Teddy’s” voice.

Step 3:    Here are some instructions you might try with your toddler:

  • Teddy says, "Touch your tummy."
  • Teddy says, "Turn around."
  • Teddy says, "Wiggle your fingers."

Step 4: After you say the instructions, you can do the motions with your child as a model. You can provide more language by saying something like “We did it! We touched our tummies with our hands!” or “Wow, you turned around really fast. I went slower so I wouldn’t get dizzy.” This game can show you which words and instructions your child can understand even though he may not yet say them.