I’ve been working with 2 year-old David to increase his 2-word combinations for a couple of months. He loves to play and has no idea we are working on expanding his language. But the other day, we reversed roles. He made up the game, and I played along.

We were sitting on the couch and he was clutching two favorite wooden cut-out cows when he started to hide them. Next thing you know, I was asking, “Is the cow under the pillow? Behind Sherry? Between the cushions? or Under the couch? He was delighted with “tricking” me as he hid the cows and I searched for them. Pretty soon, David was repeating the prepositional phrases “under couch” or “back pillow” and using the positional words that I had modeled for him.

Take advantage of the fact that toddlers are great imitators so give them something to imitate. Talk about where toys are–in, on or under during your everyday play, inside and outside. Describing their world will expand their vocabulary and eventually have an impact on reading.