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Talking About Me

What Do Toddlers Do?

  • Learn new words every day.
  • Speak using groups of words ("Ned go out.")
  • Take turns while talking with people.
  • Ask many questions ("What that?")
  • Name objects in picture books ("Ball.")
  • Follow two-part directions ("Pick up the socks and put them in the basket.")
  • Say "no" and "not."
  • Copy adult voices and actions.
  • Follow simple stories.
  • Look at books on their own.
  • Join in when a book has rhymes and repeated words.
  • Scribble with crayons and washable markers.

    How Do Toddlers Learn?
    Rosa tugs on her mom's arm and says, "Wet." Mom says, "Your diaper is wet. Let's go change it."

    Rosa lies down on the changing table. Her mom washes her hands and tells Rosa what she's doing. "I'm washing away all the germs so you will stay healthy. I'm taking off your shorts. They're red, like your sneakers." Rosa says, "Red sneakers."

    Mom takes a diaper from the shelf. She replaces Rosa's wet diaper with a dry one. "All done," says Mom. "Wash hands?" asks Rosa. "Yes," says Mom. "Let's wash our hands."

    Rosa heads for the sink, singing. "This way, wash hands, wash hands, wash hands." Mom sings along, then says, "Rosa, you learned a new song to sing." "Sing song," says Rosa.

    Like many toddlers, Rosa is learning about language:

  • She communicates her needs using groups of words.
  • She repeats words she hears adults speak.
  • She learns a simple song.
  • She asks questions.
  • She answers questions.

    Rosa's mom helps her learn about language:

  • She responds to Rosa's request by answering with a group of words.
  • She describes what she is doing and names a color -- red.
  • She asks a simple question that Rosa knows how to answer.
  • She sings with Rosa, then congratulates her on learning the song.

    Source: America Reads Challenge: Ready*Set*Read for Families

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