Speech and Language Development

There are many things parents can be doing at home to help their children get ready for grade one.


The ability to communicate is very important for all human beings.  Understanding what others say and the ability to express needs help children feel comfortable and safe.

Language and speech form the foundation for reading.


Parents are their child’s first and best teachers.


There are things you can do at every stage to help your child develop good communication skills.



Age 0-1 year – Talk sing and play with your baby.  They may not understand everything you say but they need to hear words many times in order to learn them.  Talk about what they are interested in, “Oh do you see the puppy?  Nice puppy.”


Age 1 year to 2 years – Look at books, photo albums, flyers, and talk about the pictures.  Ask your child to follow simple directions, “Go get your coat.”  Throw in some silly directions to see if they really understand, “Put your boots in the bathtub.”  When your child says words incorrectly, you do not have to correct them just say it again correctly so they hear it.

Child:  “I want a nana.”

Parent: “You want a ba-na-na? Ok you can have a ba-na-na.”


Age 2 years to 3 years – Read books to your child.  If they get restless read fewer words or just talk about the pictures.  Ask your child questions about the pictures.  Try to relate the pictures to your child’s life.  “Oh look at ball!  Do you have a ball?

Yes you have a red ball this one is blue.”


Age 3 years to 4 years – Now your child should be speaking in sentences.   Tell your child a short story and ask your child to tell it back to you or to a younger sibling or grandparent or auntie.  You can now read more words in a story and ask more questions about the story.  “Where is Red Riding Hood going?  What is in the basket?  Why is she taking food to her grandma?  Who got grandma out of the wolf’s tummy?  When did they have tea and cake?”  Look for your child to answer in sentences.  If your child answers, “No talk wolf.”, you can say, “Yes! Her mom told her not to talk to the wolf!”


Age 4 years to 5 years – Now your child should be able to tell you about things they experienced when you were not with them.  “What did you do at grandma’s house/day care?  Tell me about the circus?  What did you and daddy do at the lake?  How do you catch a fish?”

If you think your child might need extra help with language development, feel free to call or text or email me any time or visit our website at https://sites.google.com/a/students.srsd119.ca/language-speech-and-hearing/helpful-resources/oral-language


At all stagesrhyming is a great way to play with sounds and it help children get ready to read.


Speech sounds develop over time.  Children’s speech should become clearer and clearer.


At age 2 parents should be able to understand half of what their child says.

At age 3 parents should be able to understand most of what their child says, while strangers should understand about half.

At age 4 parents should be able to understand all of what their child says, while strangers should understand most.

At age 5 everyone should be able to understand what a child is saying.


Like any skill, saying speech sounds can be difficult for some children.  If they need extra help to learn their speech sounds the speech-language pathologist can help.

Below I have included rhyming pictures for the most common speech sound errors (saying t in place of k and leaving sounds off of the s blends).



If your child has difficulty with these sounds you can use the pictures below to help your child hear the difference the sounds make in the words.


If you try these activities for a few months and your child is still struggling to say k (key-tea, cool-tool, ca-tar, etc.) or s blends (stick-tick, spill-pill, snow-no, etc.).

If your child has difficulty with different speech sounds you can go to the SRPSD website https://sites.google.com/a/students.srsd119.ca/language-speech-and-hearing/helpful-resources/artic-phono/materials-for-practicing-sounds and find more pictures and activities.