Before age 1:

  • Talk to your child throughout the day

  • Read colorful books to your child

  • Teach your child the names of everyday items and familiar people

  • Tell nursery rhymes and sing songs such as: "peek-a-boo" and "itsy-bitsy-spider "

  • Introduce animal sounds to associate a sound with meaning: "The doggie says woof-woof."

Between age 1 and 2:

  • Talk to your baby about everything you're doing while you're with him/her

  • Talk simply, clearly, and slowly to your child

  • Describe what your child is doing, feeling, hearing

  • Let your child listen to children's records and tapes

  • Praise your child's efforts to communicate

Between 2 and 3

  • Use good speech that is clear and simple for your child to model

  • Repeat new words over and over

  • Help your child listen and follow instructions by playing games: "pick up the ball," "Touch Daddy's nose"

  • Read books every day, perhaps as part of the bedtime routine

  • Expand what the child says. If he or she says, "more juice," you say, "Danny wants more juice."

Between age 3 and 4

  • Talk about how objects are the same or different

  • Help your child tell stories using books and pictures

  • Let your child play with other children

  • Read books with your child and talk about the different objects and things (ex. animals, colors, plants ect.)

  • Help your child understand and ask questions. Play the yes-no game. Ask questions such as "Are you a girl?" "Are you Cinderella?" "Can a pig fly?"

Between 4 and 5

  • Help your child sort objects and things (ex. things you eat, animals, ect.)

  • Let your child help you plan activities such as what you will make for Thanksgiving dinner

  • Continue talking with him/her about his/her interests

  • Continue to read books and discuss the main idea throughout the book

  • Let her/her tell and make-up stories for you

Between 5 and up

  • Talk about new situations before you go, while you're there, and again when you are home

  • Sing songs and rhymes with your child

  • Continue to read longer stories and discuss the good/bad consequences of the characters in the story

  • Look at family photos and talk to him/her about your family history