Year 3: Grammar, Learning Words Flexibly and Language Play

From 24 Months and Up

There are big differences between children in their language & communication skills. Some children are ahead of others by several months already.

  • There are big differences between children in their language & communication skills. Some children are ahead of others by several months already. Words are learned faster and on their own: Use their knowledge to infer what new words mean.
  • Average number of spoken words by age 2 is about 300; some children say around 600 words already, some less than 100
  • Words become more diverse: says property, spatial, number words, and more
  • Makes up new words: I’m blocking (playing with blocks), I’m a pizza eater
  • Combines words to longer sentences (3, 4 words, and more)
  • Adds grammatical endings to nouns and verbs (-ed for past, -s for plurals, -ing on verbs, …)
  • Grammatical errors appear. That’s progress – she has figured out the underlying rule. Mom buyed a new backpack. This is myse. (instead of mine)
  • Speech is much more intelligible – stranger should understand quite a bit
  • Initiates conversations with questions and uses different question words: What, where, why, …
  • Becomes interested in sounds and letters, develops sound awareness
  • Becomes interested in print when reading
  • Develops cardinal meaning of number words – develops math and number concepts
  • Make-believe play becomes much more structured and detailed, uses his language to guide the play along
  • Starts role-play with roles he’s very familiar with (mommy, baby, for example)
  • Uses language to regulate his emotions: Saying for example, I’m not scared as he’s afraid of something.
  • Is very interested in rhyme words – loves rhyme songs
  • Enjoys to read the same book over and over
  • Refers to self by pronouns like I, me (rather than by own name)
  • Talks about events in the past, future – develops concept about time
  • Learns more complex emotions and how to cope with different emotions
  • May throw temper tantrums
  • Loves to help you in daily routines (grocery shopping, cleaning up, …)
  • Has conversations with his dolls, trucks, and uses his words to guide his play along
  • Has private speech: For example, when going to bed, she may talk to herself and rehearse her day or experiences she’s working through