Let’s face it, trying to have a real talk with a 2-year-old can sometimes be a challenge (albeit a humorous one). If you’re looking for some ideas for conversations with your 2-year-old in an effort to strengthen their language development, you’ve come to the right place. Before you know it, the nonstop chatter phase will hit (hard), and you’ll never be at a loss for words again (you’ll be too busy answering questions about urgent matters like why stoplights are red).
Your toddler might not be speaking in full sentences just yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening to everything you say and storing that information away. Feel free to talk to them like you would any other older kid, using full sentences and steering away from baby talk. They probably understand more than you know!
Regularly talking to your 2-year-old, even if their speech back is limited, can help them develop their language and get them talking more later on when they’re able to. Don’t feel limited to the obvious hot button issues for tots (Peppa Pig, ice cream). Try these easy conversation starters and see where they take you.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your toddler about their feelings and emotions. It helps them learn how to process things and helps them give a name to their feelings.
- What makes you happy?
- What makes you sad?
- What makes you feel shy?
- What is something you love doing?
- What are you afraid of?
Sure, they might be only 2 years old, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have hobbies! Ask them about the things they love doing the most to really get them excited.
- What is your favorite thing to do when you’re playing?
- What do you love to do with your friends?
- Where is your favorite place to go?
- What do you wish you could do today?
- What do you love to do outside?
The Outside World
2-year-olds are endlessly fascinated by what’s going on outside the windows of their home. From staring at the cars that pass by to gazing at the clouds, they would love to talk more about what’s going on in nature.
- What do you see passing by the house?
- What color is that bird?
- Where is your favorite place to go outside?
- What do you like to see when we go on a walk?
- What color is the sky?
What do toddlers love more than their toys? Not very much! While they’re playing or if you’re trying to get them to play, ask some questions about the items in their room and playroom.
- What is your favorite toy to play with?
- Which toy do you not want to play with? Why?
- What color is this toy?
- Who got you this toy?
- What noise does this toy make?
Getting your little one to talk about their books only makes them more excited about reading, and who doesn’t want that? Encourage their love of books by starting a little discussion about them.
- Which of these books is your favorite?
- Do you know what this book is about?
- What noise do the animals in this book make?
- What would you write a book about?
- Can you tell me why you like this book?
Day Care & School
If your tot goes to day care or a little preschool, one way to learn more about what they do there is to simply ask. There are a few more ways to talk about their day there instead of just saying “how was your day?” (Which is, of course, a perfectly fine question to ask anyway!)
- What did you do at day care today?
- What was your favorite thing that you did?
- Who are your friends at day care?
- What does your teacher at day care always say?
- What did you learn at day care?
Want to keep things simple but educational? Ask about colors. There are so many ways to do this and it really teaches them a lot.
- What color is the toy next to you?
- What is your favorite color?
- What colors do you see outside?
- What color is Mommy’s outfit?
- What color shirt do you want to wear today?
Help them dream big and encourage creativity with questions about their very wild imagination. There’s nothing wrong with a little pretend!
- What kind of animal do you wish you could be?
- If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
- Let’s pretend your bedroom is a magical place. What can we do there?
- Do you want to build a boat and sail somewhere? Where?
- What do you think that animal would say if it could talk?
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