Once your 5-year old has mastered learning letters and their sounds, he is ready to begin to put those sounds together to build simple words. Before your child can see how the sounds in words come together, he must first be able to hear how sounds come together. This activity brings your child one step closer to becoming a reader.

Whether your photos are in a scrapbook, a photo album or in a digital file, toddlers will enjoy looking at the faces and hearing the stories behind them. Your toddler will enjoy seeing smiling faces and colorful pictures, and her oral language skills will grow as you recall the stories that go with the snapshots.

This simple take-along activity can help you become a storyteller no matter where you are. Just pull out a photo card and describe what you see.

Toddlers imitate what they see and hear you do. As they grow, they become more involved in imaginative play and use what they learn from watching you. Let your child explore his imagination by providing items for pretend play.

During your car rides, use the time for conversations with your child. Oral language skills are built much more through interactions between people than by watching TV, working on a computer, or listening to a radio. So, strike up a conversation!

By exposing your child to rhyming words at this young age, you are helping to lay the groundwork for how language works. As your child gets a little older, she will build upon this foundation by noticing and playing with the sounds within the rhyming words.

Toddlers are keen observers and excellent mimics. They also love repetition and rhythm. By combining these skills and interests, this activity can help your child to begin to develop word and syllable awareness.