Comments are an important way to develop your child’s language. When we comment on our child’s activities and experiences, we let them hear the language they need to learn. It is important to match the comment to your child’s level e.g. for children saying single words, use no more than two to three words to comment on what they are doing. For example if your child is playing with a toy car, you could say “car is driving.” However, it’s important to make sure you make the comment in the moment, as it won’t make sense if you talk about it later.

Questions are also important, but can be overused. Try to avoid using questions such as “what’s that?” as your child will only provide a one word answer. Instead, ask open-ended questions. These are questions that encourage your child to provide more than a single word response. Examples of open ended questions include “what did you do today?”, “what do you think will happen if……?”, “how do we make……?”, “why do we……?”, etc. These questions also enhance critical thinking skills and encourage your child to develop a wider vocabulary. However, it’s important to remember that some of these questions, such as “why” and “how” questions are more difficult to answer than simple “what/who” questions. This does not mean you can’t expose them to these different question types, just ensure you also model the response e.g. “why do we need an umbrella today?…Ah!…because it’s raining”.

Happy commenting and questioning!