Car chats

Let’s listen in on a parent/toddler conversation in the car:

“Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy.”

“Yes, honey.”

“Cemt twuck.”

“You saw a cement truck?”

“Big one.”

“Oh, you saw a big one. What color was it?”

“Gween…. Cars.”

“And you see cars too?”


”Yes, the cars go fast. What else do you see outside your window?”

Did you hear how the parent was tuned in to the child’s interests? She skillfully extended his language by:

  • repeating his words to show she understood
  • adding more words to make a complete sentence
  • asking open-ended questions to stimulate another response

As our very young children practice their language skills, we want to use every opportunities to challenge and extend their thinking. Car trips can be great times to build language as children comment on the world whizzing by. Look for other language building opportunities as you go about your day together.

Check out these tips from about your role in building your child’s language. These are great strategies for older toddlers too!

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