Three. It’s truly the toddler/preschooler sweet spot. No longer are you doing baby talk or having one-sided discussions, but you realize that you can have a real conversation with your child. That said, you might be at a loss as to what to talk to your 3-year-old about. Do you wax on about the weather? Do you get prosaic about politics?
As your child enters her third year on the planet, you might find that your quiet kiddo will suddenly turn into a Chatty Kathy. At the age of 3, your child should be able to say her name and her age, and speak upwards of 250-500 words, WebMD reported. She should also be able to ask basic questions and also tell some stories of her own.
And sure, she might still garble some words from time to time, but you’ll probably catch what your 3-year-old is saying for the most part. In fact, “you should be able to understand about 75 percent of what your toddler says,” cited Kids Health. That’s what makes this a great time to start truly engaging your child in back-and-forth banter. So if your child is in the throes of threedom (and you’re still kind of clueless as to what convo topics you should cover), here’s a good starting point.
1. Their Day
At 3 years old, your child probably has an active life. From preschool to playdates, there are lots of things that your child does during the day. Discover more about it with this line of questions:
1. What did you do today?
2. Did you have fun in school/camp?
3. What was your favorite part of today?
4. Did you do something nice for someone else today?
5. What did you eat? Did you like it?
Food plays a big part in a toddler's life. And at 3, your little one probably has some pretty big opinions on what she likes, and more to the point, doesn’t like. Take these food cues come mealtime:
1. What’s your favorite food to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner?
2. What snack do you like best?
3. Do you like foods that are sweet or salty?
4. What food would you like to make with me in the kitchen?
5. What food is the yuckiest?
There’s nothing like roaring like a lion or making monkey noises to get your kid giggling. Making sounds is a fun way to connect with your child and start chatting. Here are a few ways to cluck your way to a fun conversation:
1. What sound does a truck make?
2. What sounds do you like?
3. What sounds are annoying?
4. What sound do you make the best?
5. What does Daddy (or Mommy!) sound like when he’s/she's snoring?
When kids learn about animals and the noises they make, they not only learn about the English language, “but also about our culture and the world,” reported Scholastic. Maybe that’s why so many children’s books have animal protagonists. Animate your child’s love of animals (and future discussions) with these questions:
1. What is your favorite animal, and why?
2. Where does the duck live?
3. What sound does the pig make?
4. Which animals live on a farm?
5. What animal would you like to be?
When your child turns three, why not include her in on the planning process? From places to go and people to see, check in with your kiddo before you make your itinerary.
1. What would you like to do this weekend?
2. Where are some of your favorite places to go?
3. Who would you like to visit?
4. What would you like to wear when we go outside?
5. What should we bring with us?
Your family forms your child’s first bonds with people. Ask her about the people who love her the most and see what responses you get.
1. Who are your favorite people in the family?
2. What are the names of the people in your family?
3. Who is older in the family, your brother or your sister?
4. What do you like best about your family?
5. What are some fun things we can do as a family?
Oh, the joys of being 3. It’s not unheard of for a 3-year-old to be happy one minute — and hysterical the next. Since their feelings can change on a dime, be sure to ask these heartfelt q’s:
1. What makes you happy? What makes you sad?
2. What do you find scary? Why is it scary to you?
3. What made you laugh today?
4. What do you love to do?
5. What makes you feel shy?
Keeping a 3-year-old occupied is a feat in and of itself. Keep your child active and occupied with these activity-oriented questions.
1. What do you want to do today?
2. What kinds of arts and crafts do you like best?
3. What is your favorite thing to do in school?
4. Do you prefer painting or playing music?
5. What are some fun games we can play outside?
9. The World Around Them
Even taking a walk down the block is an opportunity to strike up a conversation with your child. As you stroll down the street together, try these topics:
1. What do you see?
2. What does that cloud look like to you?
3. Do you think it’s going to rain today?
4. What color is that bird? What sound does it make?
5. Are there a lot of people outside today, or not many?
By now, your child might have a best bud or two. Here are some friend-ly questions to ask:
1. Who is your best friend?
2. Are you a good friend?
3. Do you like taking turns with your friend?
4. What do friends do for each other?
5. What things do you like to do best with your friends?