Toddler: Communicating and Speaking

Posted by Nate McCallister on March 3, 2016
Smiling Toddler

When children learn to say the word “no” they often practice saying it a lot.

When children learn to say or communicate “yes” and “no,” they illustrate developmental progress in communicating and speaking.

Below are some additional indicators of progress as well as some quick tips on how you can help support a child’s development in this area.


Age: 18-36 Months
Domain: Language Development and Communication
Sub-domain: Communicating and Speaking


Progress and Support

Toddlers show progress in this area when they do the following:

  • learn to say or communicate “yes” and “no,”
  • expand vocabulary to 50 words or more,
  • begin to use two and three word sentences,
  • sing songs and repeat rhymes,
  • ask and answer questions with short sentences,
  • learn new words and signs.

Use these quick tips to support development:

  • ask questions and allow time for response,
  • use short sentences,
  • make a list of words the child uses,
  • when child uses short sentences, respond,
  • use humor and pretend play to model additional use of language.

At what times throughout the day can you use the above quick tips? Dinner time? Morning time? Bed time? Travel time?


Reference: Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, 2007

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Author: Nate McCallister

Nate McCallister started with SonShine Learning Center in 2003 as a preschool teacher. Today, he works as the organization’s financial director and is the site director at the Luther location. He earned a bachelor’s degree in technical communication and professional writing from Metropolitan State University and studied early childhood education at St. Paul College.