top of page

One to Two Years

Hearing and Understanding

Points to a few body parts when you ask.

Follows 1-part directions, like "Roll the ball" or "Kiss the baby."

Responds to simple questions, like “Who’s that?” or “Where’s your shoe?”

Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes.

Points to pictures in a book when you name them.


Uses a lot of new words. 

Uses p, b, m, h, and w in words.

Starts to name pictures in books.

Ask questions like "What's that?" and "Where's kitty?"

Puts 2 words together, like "more apple," "no bed," and "mommy book."

Two to Three Years

Hearing and Understanding

Understands opposites, like go–stop, big–little, and up–down.

Follows 2-part directions, like "Get the spoon and put it on the table."

Understands new words quickly.


Has a word for almost everything.

Talks about things are not in the room.

Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n in words.

Uses words like in, on, and under.

Uses two- or three- words to talk about and ask for things.

People who know your child can understand him.

Asks “Why?”

Puts 3 words together to talk about things. May repeat some words and sounds.


Three to Four Years

Hearing and Understanding

Responds when you call from another room.

Understands words for some colors, like red, blue, and green.

Understands words for some shapes, like circle and square.

Understands words for family, like brother, grandmother,

and aunt.


Answers simple who, what, and where questions.

Says rhyming words, like hat–cat.

Uses pronouns, like I, you, me, we, and they.

Uses some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses.

Most people understand what your child says.

Asks when and how questions.

Puts 4 words together. May make some mistakes, like “I goed to school.”

Talks about what happened during the day. Uses about 4 sentences at a time.

Four to Five Years

Hearing and Understanding

Understands words for order, like first, next, and last.

Understands words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Follows longer directions, like “Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, and then pick out a book.

Follows classroom directions, like “Draw a circle on your paper around something you eat.”

Hears and understands most of what she hears at home and in school.


Says all speech sounds in words. May make mistakes on sounds that are harder to say, like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, and th.

Responds to “What did you say?”

Talks without repeating sounds or words most of the time.

Names letters and numbers.

Uses sentences that have more than 1 action word, like jump, play, and get. May make some mistakes, like “Zach gots 2 video games, but I got one.”

Tells a short story.

Keeps a conversation going.

Talks in different ways, depending on the listener and place. Your child may use short sentences with younger children. He may talk louder outside than inside.


bottom of page