Preschool is a time for learning, growth, and play. A preschooler’s language skills are quickly evolving during this time. You may notice your child beginning to share the exciting events of his/her school day, understanding the difference between what happened “yesterday” vs. “today”, and reciting various nursery rhymes and stories learned in school.
You play an important role in your child’s ongoing communication development. Talking, listening, and playing with your child will help to build the skills he or she needs to become a successful and confident communicator.
The following are examples of speech and language milestones typically met by three and four years of age:
- Correctly says the following sounds: m, n, ng, p, f, h, w, k, g, b, d and t
- Understood by listeners 70-80% of the time
- Matches colors
- Names a few colors
- Answers simple “yes/no”, “what” and “where” questions
- Counts to 3
- Uses sentences to communicate
- Follows a 3-step direction
- Understood by listeners 90% of the time
- Sentences may range 4 to 8 words in length
- Asks and answers a variety of “wh” questions (who, what, where, why)
- Accurately retells a long story
- Starting to use complex sentences
- Starting to use grammatically correct sentences
- Counts to 10
Activities to foster your child’s communication skills include:
- Use good speech that is clear and simple for your child to model.
- Use descriptive words such as colors and opposites (big/little, fast/slow) as well as action words (walking, jumping, running) when you are talking with them.
- Talk about places you’ve been or where you will be going.
- Read books that are predictable and repetitive – pause to give the child a chance to fill in the words and phrases.
- Talk about similarities and differences among objects.
- Model correct sounds and grammar – child says “he drawed” and you say “yes, he drew”.
- Play and pretend with them! They may like acting out scenes from their favorite movies or books, pretending to eat in a restaurant or to be a teacher.
If you have concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development, please contact Kristin Miller at Miller Therapy. Located in Arlington Heights and serving the entire Chicagoland area, Miller Therapy provides expert Speech Therapy and Orofacial Myology.