I just got a call from Will’s parents excitedly telling me that he was putting 2 words together and gabbing away in the bathtub! He had said “pine cone” and “thunder boom” on his walk outside and later during a big thunderstorm. His parents were so excited as was I. Even though I knew it was coming as i watched Will’s vocabulary build, it is a milestone to hear your child start to form little sentences. So much more can be communicated when a child combines words. Just think, “Daddy come” or “Mommy read” invites you to participate in his activity. He is able to express his wants and needs more easily. What should you do next?
Encourage more two-word combinations by feeding your child some short sentences like “Here’s a pine cone” or “Thunder says boom!” Add on a word or two to what he said to expand his language. Always speak in grammatically correct sentences—no need to talk to toddlers in telegraphic speech like they are using. They respond to accurate language that you are modeling. Always encourage their language with a resounding “Yes!” after they tell you something new like “big boat.” You might say, “Yes! That is a big boat. You big boat floats. Let’s push your big boat.” You are providing him with new ways to use his words and expand on what he says.