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Speaking in Sentences


Thursday, July 31, 2018, is National Speak in Complete Sentences Day. Of course, it’s meant to remind us that to make sure our sentences have subjects and verbs and are grammatically correct, but we’d like to use it think about the process of learning to speak in sentences. When single words like Mama and Dada start to give way, the relationships among words help babies express their wishes, their questions, and their observations about what happens in the world. Give cookie! No more! Go car? These may not be complete sentences from an adult point of view, but they do capture the essence of the thought.

We recently came across some great tips on helping to take advantage of this stage of toddler development. Our favorite three involve:

  • Letting your toddler finish his/her own sentences. If you jump in, it can be very frustrating or discouraging.
  • Respond with complete adult grammatical sentences that build on her/his own sentences. “Play ball?” “Yes, let’s go outside and play with the ball. We can throw the ball to each other in the backyard. Shall we play with the blue ball or the red one today?”
  • Give him/her lots of opportunities to talk in a two-way conversation.

Come to think of it, those might all be good things to remember in a conversation with adults as well as kids!

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