Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Baby turned 2 today! What communication skills are next?


Times flies! I feel like just the other day I held this little helpless baby in my arms and then I blinked. Now, he's 2! When we hit major milestones it's a good time to review what developmental skills we should be working toward. So, what should a two year old be able to do? I'm so glad you asked! :)


Before I can look at what skills are next, say over the next 12 months, I need to make sure that he is doing what he needs to be doing at his current age. The communication skills that a twenty four month old should have mastered include:

Comprehension / Understanding

  • points to major body parts (arms, legs, head, back, tummy/stomach, etc...)
  • follows simple one step directions ("get the car!" or "pick up the book")
  • understands simple questions ("where is daddy?" or "what's that!?")
  • listens to simple stories, nursery rhymes and songs (books with one word or one simple sentence on a page)
  • points to common objects in books

Expressive Language / Talking
  • has a growing vocabulary (has a word for most family members, friends, favorite foods and preferred toys, and possibly favorite TV characters)
  • asks simple questions ("ball?" uses rising intonation to ask where the is the ball or "where bear" using simple wh- question words)
  • combines two words (more grape, want truck, get dog, go potty)
  • uses a variety of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words (may not say sounds at the ends of words consistently yet)

On his second birthday, Little W seems to be doing ok...with the exception of asking simple questions. Although, his favorite game is where he says "Sissy" and I ask "where's Sissy?" and he announces "koo!" (school). He'll do that little exchange with me at least 20 times, probably more than that if I'd keep playing along. Sometimes he'll even add in "daddy" "where's daddy?" "koo!" "No, daddy is at work." So, maybe he is asking questions with one word, but not using the rising intonation. We'll work on it.


But what's next? For 24-36 month olds, here is a list of communication skills that should be developing:


Comprehension / Understanding
  • opposites (big/little, cold/hot, on/off)
  • follows simple, two step directions (where you have to do the first part of the direction in order to do the second part, example: Pick up the cup and give it to me or Get the bear and put it away)
  • listens to longer stories or more than one story in a sitting (two-three sentences per page is a good length for this age)

Expressive Language / Talking
  • has a growing vocabulary and can name most common objects even if he doesn't encounter them every day (or every week)
  • combines two and three words consistently
  • asks questions what, where and why questions (yikes! why questions!)
  • speech is understood 50-75% of the time by caregivers, although strangers may not understand
  • will indicate a desired object by naming it


I have to say I am excited about the skills that he'll be gaining over this next year!

Come back soon to see some of the activities that we are doing at home (and you can too!) that address these skills!


Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to play a game Dice Free!



Yikes! Today I had a moment of panic! I had pulled out a therapy game to play with a kiddo and realized that I just upgraded my phone and had forgotten to put the dice app back on. So there I was with a super fun game to play and no dice. What's a person to do?!

Well, I realized that I had all I needed right there with me paper, scissors and a writing instrument (and the scissors are really not totally necessary since you can just rip the paper if you need to!). I created Paper Balls!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Christmas Hunt


We enjoyed this book so much more this year! Little W had gone to bed as we were out quite late. So it was just Big Sister and me.

We spent a little bit time reading the story, but mostly we spent time looking for the hidden pictures! We used good language skills to describe the little pictures we were looking for. We looked for a light brown suitcase with 4 stickers on it and a purple present with yellow stars and red ribbon tied up in a bow.

If we found an object that was similar we would discuss the similarities and differences. Like oh that's a star and it's yellow but it's center is missing and we are looking for a yellow star that is solid with a rainbow tail.

We did not read the whole story, it would have taken quite a while. But we enjoyed it for a little while as we did our bedtime reading routine.


To read our mini-review of this book from last year, click here (book 22).


To get your own copy of this book, you can purchase it here:



If you like hidden pictures or where's Waldo type books, this would be a great book to add to your collection!

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, December 20, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Clifford's Christmas Present




Wow! We really enjoyed this book this year! Both kids got excited about lifting the flaps! Little W just lifted the flap and was excited about the fact that there was a picture under there! Big Sister had a good time looking for the answer to the question in the story.

It turned into a competition! Who could find the "right" picture under the flap. Obviously it was total luck but they enjoyed the game :)

This is a great book for answering questions: What would Clifford like? A bone! Where is the tape? Under Clifford's tail. What is Mrs. Howard doing? Making cookies!

So fun! We even asked other random questions, like what do you think we should give to Precious (that's the grandparent's dog)? or What do you think would be fun to do in the snow?

Instead of rushing through the story, we slowly went through each page. Everyone had a blast!


To read our review of this book, click here (book 14).

To purchase your own copy of this book, click below:




We have begun to love Lift-the-Flap books! Do you have any favorites?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

25 Books of Christmas - On Christmas Morning




Little W was in a very silly mood during book time tonight. He was "reading" the book by putting it right up to his nose!

This is a sweet story about a family getting ready for Christmas morning by completing traditional activities like baking cookies, hanging lights and wrapping gifts. On Christmas Eve, the family stops to read the Christmas story.

The story is written in a poem style and has wonderfully engaging illustrations.

We talked a lot about colors: white snow, green tree, red wrapping.

In one part of the story, the family visits less fortunate neighbors. I like that they brought it from commercialized Christmas to a service oriented Christmas and reminded us that Jesus is the reason we celebrate.

If you would like to purchase your own copy of this book, click on the book below:






Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

25 Books of Christmas - Corduroy's Christmas Surprise




We've been in a "talk about actions" kind of mood around here! Little W is beginning to combine words and a good way to increase the length of a child's statements is to add an action word to a noun (either action-noun or noun-action! for more information check out this post here).

So, as we went through Corduroy's Christmas Surprise we talked about all the things that Corduroy was doing. Even the first page gave us a good idea of what the book would be about "Corduroy's list of fun things to do at Christmastime went on and on and on." A book full of actions!

We did some paired reading with Big Sister, where I would start the sentence and she would finish it. Paired reading typically works best with rhyming books that are very familiar to the child. However, in this story there are some sentences that can easily be completed by using the picture. I would start the sentence "He had little gift for his guests, so he pulled out the -" and I pointed to the wrapping paper, the tape and the ribbons as Big Sister named them. On another page she finished the sentence: "and they were -" singing!

Not the perfect book for paired reading but it worked for us.

To read our review on this book, click here (book 15).

If you'd like to purchase this book for your own library, you can get it here:




Enjoy this heartfelt story about generosity and friendship!

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - 12 Dogs of Christmas




I got to go on a date night with my husband! Yea! We had a great time at his work Christmas party. And the kids got to hang out with Mimi :)

I gave her the book that they could open and read together. I knew that I wanted it to be a successful reading adventure, so I snuck a peak at which books were left and choose this one.

When someone is doing something for the first time, or in this case the first time in a long time, it's important to set them up for a positive experience. I let her know that naming the dogs and having fun reading was all that she needed to do!

She reported that they had a great time!

If I had been reading it with them I would have also included actions and possibly prepositional phrases. Each page has a dog or a few dogs doing something. This would be a great book to use to work on naming actions - some familiar and typical for dogs like sleeping or sniffing, and some are not typical dog actions like tight rope walking or wrapping gifts. Super fun!

If you work on prepositions you can name what is on, in, under, over, behind or in front of objects in the pictures! There are tons of simple pictures that you discuss.

Or this is a great book to leave with the babysitter so you can get out of the house... Whichever you do, read it or let the babysitter read it, I know your child will love it!


To read our mini review of this book, click here (book 20).

To get your own copy of this book, you can purchase it here:




Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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