I love to read research and see it played out with kids. Today I saw Jack, 22 months, and was reminded again that kids really do experience a “vocabulary explosion” during the second half of their second year. Not everyone explodes like Jack! I had seen him for a “play on words” session three months ago and he had about 15-20 words that he was saying consistently. Today he was talking in 2-4 word sentences like “Soccer ball shirt” and “Daddy read books.”
How does this happen? By talking a lot to your toddler, naming everything that interests him in his environment (usually knowing safari animals are not as helpful as naming his clothing, toys, and food), and adding on to his words with one or two more words you are expanding his vocabulary. When he says “truck”, you affirm him with “Yes, a blue truck” or “Yes, the truck goes.” Children are like sponges at this age and can pick up many new words each day.