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English & Language Arts

Conversation is an art, and your toddler is eager to engage!

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One-year-old verbal skills grow each day. When you speak to her, she does her best to respond. More and more, she’s interested in communicating with those around her — both with words (or sounds) and her body language. Ask her a question and see what kind of response you get. Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, and she learns new words every day. Cat, mat? Pig, jig? She hears and understands the differences.

Your 1-Year-Old

Watch how often she brings you her favorite book. Then, enjoy her antics as she pretends to “read” along. And when you’re not reading to her, you may just find her flipping through the pages all on her own! When she’s done “reading,” give her some finger paints to communicate through art. It may look like a colorful, random mess today. Still, it’s the start of her early writing skills.

  • I Have So Much to Say!

    He communicates in every way possible — with his hands, his legs, his arms, his facial expressions! His vocabulary is growing non-stop. Beyond that, he’s moving from single words like “ball” and “go” to phrases like “throw ball” and “we go!” Your toddler loves his busy world, and he wants to tell you all about it — in any way he can. Encourage his chatty growth by asking questions and making requests. He’s ready to respond!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Listen to how teachers and children communicate with each other. Are children listened to? Are teacher responses patient and respectful? Does open communication go both ways?

  • Read to Me, Please!

    Books, books, books…she simply can’t get enough! She’s moving from pictures to words. When she’s not reading with you, she’s often happy to sit by herself and flip through her favorites. When you ask her about the story she’s absorbed in, she’ll answer with the phrases she’s adding daily. She’s beginning to understand the subtle differences between words such as cat and mat, dog and jog. And this is just the beginning of her early reading skills!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Look for writing everywhere…on shelves, in cubbies, across the walls. Objects in the classroom should be labeled and described. And the schedule should include lots of chances for children to explore books on their own and with their teachers.

  • I’m Ready to Write.

    Give him a pencil, and watch him scribble. Hand him some crayons, and he’ll create a colorful masterpiece. And finger paints might just be his favorite! Your toddler is learning to express himself through his early writing skills. And when he wants to tell you a story? He’ll communicate in a lot of ways — using his scribbles, his words, his phrases and his body. He’s got a lot to say…and a lot of different ways to say it!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Are there both art and writing experiences available for children? They should be able to engage in and explore with crayons, paints, chalk and more. And do the teachers use those opportunities to talk about how art and writing helps them communicate?

Ideas to Learn and Play Together!

From bedtime to playtime your child is always learning. Check out these family-time ideas for building their skills -- and your family connections. All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.

  • Make a List

    Let your child make his own list—shopping list, grocery list, list of favorite toys. Provide crayons and paper, and expect lots of scribbles and marks. “I am writing my grocery list. Here is paper and pencil for you to use for yours. What should we buy at the store?”

  • Make It Last a Little Longer

    After reading a story, ask simple questions or make short statements about the story. “Does the baby like to splash in the water? Look at his smile!” or “Where did they go? That’s right, to Grandma’s house!”

  • Books, Books Everywhere!

    Bring along familiar books on trips. Ask your child to “read or tell” the book to you. “I can’t read it right now. Can you read it to me?” or “Please tell me what happens in the book!”

  • Let's Talk!

    Just like you would with a friend, wait for your child to respond to your question or statement. This is a great way to show them how conversation flows! It’s also great to model this all the time by asking questions. Even when all you get are sweet babbles, your child is learning important skills.

  • Read It Again!

    Reading leads to noticing! The more you talk about the books you are reading the more your little one notices too. “Look! There is another star on this page, and here are the words I am reading to you.”

  • Repeat After Me!

    Your child loves playing with sounds and words, so play along with them! Repeat words or sounds they make. Make it a game that you play together.

  • Talk to Me

    Make everyday activities a time for learning language! Sing or talk about what you are doing. “We are going to wash our hands with soap. Oh, look at all the bubbles you made.”

  • Show Me

    Waving goodbye to friends during departure increases your child’s communication skills. Use gestures or simple signed words to match the words you are using.

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