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Child Language Milestones

Language Development

The under 12 month baby ...

Wow we literally just worked our way to 8+ years with speech developmental and here we are....back to square one. Your 3 month old baby startles to sudden, loud noises but seems to know your voice and comforts to it when they are upset and crying. 


Three months later and your 6 month baby turns toward a sound such as your voice, the dog barking or their sibling's play. They are becoming interested in sounds, voices, and music and that all-so-precious smile starts to emerge and it's not just gas this time. 


The 12 month old ...

Yes, that's right, birthday numero-uno! Your baby turns and looks and responds to familiar sounds like when you call their name. They are starting to recognize and associate words for everyday objects like cup, shoe, and car. Parroting is in full force and your baby will begin to copy your every move and action. Crying, laughing, looking, showing, reaching, grunting, and making sounds will be their Go-To communication method. 


The 18 month old ...

Your walking concern is really starting to figure things out. They understand and say at least 10 words. They can point to familiar people and body parts like eyes, ears, mouth and nose.

The 2 year old ...

Goodbye trying to add up how many months old your child is now....they have reached that pinnacle ...they are now a 2 year old. Your little one can now use 2 words together, like 'more milk' and 'daddy sit'. Your word slinger can say at least 50 words and is starting to use ing (eating), plurals (boats), and possessives (baby’s bottle). They can also understand 2-part sentences, like 'take the shovel and put it in the bucket'.


The 2½ year old ...

Twelve months is a year plus four months plus two carry the one....hey..stop!! I said we aren't counting anymore. Your 2½ year old uses words that name objects like ball and shoe. They use description words like small and cold, and action words like punch and spin. They can point to more body parts and yes this is when they probably start to ask why you and daddy have different parts. Wasn't it easier when we just had to talk about ears and noses.  


The 3 year old ...

The terrible twos are behind us and independence is being achieved everyday. They understand and ask 'WH' questions. They are beginning to describes activities, their feelings, telling you about problems, and stating simple stories. Your mini-person can now say 3 to 4 words sentences and they are using articles such 'is', 'a', and 'the' more often. Your memory wizard can now follow 3-part directions....WARNING!!! Just because they can, doesn't mean they will. Trust me, the toys will still be left out.


The 4 year old ...

Hello school, goodbye daycare! Your big guy or gal can now use sentences that are longer and more complex. They use more grammar, like pronouns (I, you, me, she, he, we), past tense(walked), and some question words (what, who, where, why). Don't worry, there should be some errors still. Your new scholar can understand most concept words like colours, shapes, locations, texture and time.


The 5 year old ... 

Chatty Cathy has arrived. Sentences are now 5 to 6 words long and your language veteran can ask questions using who, what, where, and why. They speak in present, future, and past tenses and can retell a story by naming the characters and talking about what happened like nobody's business. Their ability to use language more vividly is coming to life. They can use different types of words, like action (kick) and describing words (yellow, cold).  The can follow 3 directions at a time and understand many concept words such as colours, location words, and numbers. Your 5 year old will put items into basic groups, such as fruits, animals, and toys. Now is the time to really watch out as they will understand most adult conversation. So exnay on the NoEasterBunnyeh. What were you thinking I was going to say? :)

The 6 year old ...

Your child is still not too cool for things but your precious little one is slowly slipping through your grasp. Yep, that's right, big boyness and girlness is quickly approaching but every once-in-a-while that mini person you once know still sneaks out. They now speak in sentences that are 6 to 7 words long and use words like then, so, and but in their sentences. They are able to tell us who was in a story, where the story took place, and what happened in it. They're also able to explain simple tasks such as making a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Your little helper can now attend and listen for up to 15 to 20 minutes at a time. They understand words like right and left and how everyday things go together.They are begining to understand and enjoy riddles and jokes....''knock knock..who's there? Table. Table who? Table chair...hahahahah''. Worst! They're not even funny, they don't even make sense...we've all been there. Smile, laugh, nod. Smile, laugh and nod. It's only a phase, this too shall pass. Thank goodness.

The 7 year old ...

We are well on our way and development seems to take place literally almost everyday. Your playground monster speaks in 7 to 8 word sentences and uses connecting words, like because, so, then, before, and after. They have added the use of all pronouns correctly including himself, herself, and themselves into their repertoire. You will even recognize the use of irregular past tense verbs like ate, fell, and ran. They can tell complete and I mean complete stories that have many and I mean many details. This is because a more precise, specific and articulate vocabulary is being built and added to everyday. So make sure they're actually asleep before you tell those university stories of days-long-passed.

The 8 year old ... 

A smaller and more compact version of you now appears before your eyes. Heck, they might even be as tall as you by now. Your big-old, 8-year-old should talk, act and basically be an independent little communicator. Vocabulary, social language, grammar rules and all language abilities will continue to diversify as they continue to acquire and master their way through their continued levels of education..... but your language journey of the basics ends here. Stamp it!  

Information taken and adapted from:

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