You are reading a farm book with your 2-year-old. You point to a cow and ask, “what is this?” We may not realize, but whether it’s looking at books or playing we’re constantly quizzing in those toddler years. We mean no harm; on the contrary, we are enthusiastic about our children learning words.

Let’s move away from that and step in their shoes. How would we feel if constantly quizzed? WHOA. We would feel overwhelmed. Let’s try other strategies instead!

Here are 3 strategies:

1. Expand on their productions. If the child says “ball”, we can say, “the ball is __” blue, bouncing, or on the table. We are now teaching them describing, action, and location words.

2. Parallel talk. This can be done in any setting. Narrate what your child is doing. They are now listening to SO MUCH language.

3. Be silly! Give attention to unexpected actions. If the child points to a monkey, act like a monkey! Oo-oo-ah-ah!