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25 Words Your Toddler Should Know and More

By Yvette Vignando - 21st February 2012

Perhaps intriguingly called "Is Your Child Normal?" in this segment on Channel 9 Mornings I talked about a recent conference topic of the 25 basic words most toddlers should know - and then we chatted about some preschool and school readiness issues. Watch the video here.

Parents should not panic if their toddler does not know how to say all the words on this list but it is interesting to read what Professor Descorla (Professor of Psychology and Director of the Child Study Institute, Yale University) recommends parents look for. At a recent Vancouver conference, Professor Descorla presented a list of words that parents should be looking for in their toddler's vocabulary by age two and a half, or age three at the latest. The Language Development Survey is a vocabulary checklist to check on possible language in two year old children. Language delay often resolves itself but can also indicate other diagnoses like autism or hearing impairment.

Here's the list:

  • Mummy
  • Daddy
  • Baby
  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Hello
  • Ball
  • Yes
  • No
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Nose
  • Eye
  • Banana
  • Biscuit
  • Car
  • Hot
  • Thank you
  • Bath
  • Show hat
  • Book
  • All gone
  • More
  • Bye Bye

Obviously, given the price of bananas in Australia until a few months ago, plenty of toddlers would not be familiar with this luxury fruit! So take this list as a guide only - a guide to what most two to three year olds can say as part of their vocabulary.

For the rest of our conversation on Mornings today - watch the video here. We also talked about some basic skills for starting school and preschool.

Language delay can be a serious concern but there are many ways to tackle this challenge.  Here are a few sites where you can find more information:

Language Delay Network

Raising Children Network

Parents should consult their paediatrician, or speech therapist for expert information about their child's speech development.

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