There are plenty of activities to encourage communication and develop language skills with your preschooler that can help them explain the world around them. 


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The best part about it is how much fun these activities can be. Since this age group learns primarily through play, this list consists of some creative ways to help nurture communication skills. 


Ready to learn all about activities that encourage communication with your preschooler? Keep reading…



How to help Toddlers with speech


If you are around a preschooler often, then you know how hard they are working to develop strong communication skills. This is seen through: 


  • Observing the world around them (pointing out the red apples at the grocery store)
  • Asking a LOT of questions
  • Tells the same story over and over again


Sometimes, your toddler needs help with speech in order to communicate effectively- especially before preschool begins. 


The activities in this article are proven methods to help toddlers with speech and develop better communication skills, and have fun at the same time.


Reading with your Preschooler


Sitting down and reading a favorite book with your preschooler is a great way to help them develop communication skills, even with late talkers. 


With toddlers, picture books are some of the best toys around. The one’s with simple instructions that family members can read on a regular basis are the best. In my home, one of the jobs of my oldest kids is to read a picture book to their little brother and its one of the best parts of the entire day, truly.

Woman sitting with a child at a small wooden table. They are reading a book to help the toddler with speech.

Remember, since this age group focuses much of their attention on observing the world around them, don’t stop at reading the words on each page. Get your child involved by pointing out the pictures on the page, asking questions like what color or sound an object makes. 


Not sure what sort of books your kids will enjoy? Try visiting your local library or looking for books featuring their favorite character/objects on Amazon. Another option is to read classic nursery rhymes that young children love.


Make-Believe Play


When you are a preschooler, play is the best teacher. Why not use fun activities like this to help encourage new skills like talking?


Help your little one with their communication skills by trying to encourage make believe play in everyday life. 


To get them involved, take their favorite toy and use actual words. Start with single words with toys that your child points to as a way to build on tyour childs’s vocabulary.


This can be done easily with the type of toys that you leave out to play with. Think simple, open ended toys like a play kitchen or magnatiles where they can create their own worlds. 


Painting and Crafts


For those times your preschooler needs to sit still, painting and crafts are the perfect activity to help them have fun, practice their communication skills, and help you update the artwork on the fridge. 


When painting with preschoolers, its nice to give them boundaries like a theme to create within. There are also plenty of options to help them create without making a gigantic mess. 


A few of my favorite painting kits with preschoolers that are nice to keep hidden away for a rainy day are: 

 Washable Dot Markers

This kit includes dot markers and the paper to create on. Sitting with your preschooler will not only encourage them to speak more, but it will also help them focus on their artwork, improving hand/eye coordination.

Finger Paint Set

Complete with everything that your child needs to create some beautiful creations, this finger paint set is completely washable and comes with a lot of fun tools. This activity is ideal for awakening new senses and helping them explore- which is what this age group is all about!

Ice Cream Counting Game

This game is free and the perfect activity for the afternoon to help toddlers with speech and number recognition. 


Spending Time in Nature


One of the best ways to encourage your little one to get talking is to get outside and let them explore. Sometimes, all your child needs is to eliminate the background noise for them to be able to concentrate on saying simple words.


Whether it’s your backyard, a walk around the block, or visiting a local garden, nature has an incredible way of expanding the mind. Even 15-20 minutes in nature will help your little one’s mind calm down enough to begin exploring new words. 


Getting outside is also an excellent opportunity to help develop new words. Think about it this way- if your son has never seen a daddy long legs spider before, how will he know their name? 


Board Games


Sitting down and playing board games with your preschooler is a fun way to strengthen communication skills. 


What’s even better? Game creators have designed games for your child that cater to their specific interests. Whether they are obsessed with going fishing or candy, there are board games that can help encourage plenty of new communication skills. 


Use Specific Phrases of Encouragement 


While it is easy to tell your child over and over how smart they are, if you are able to dig deeper and point out exactly what they did well, this will help their communication in the long run. 


One good idea is to eliminate baby talk. Make eye contact and encourage the use of correct words in order to have them speak in a full sentence.


Using specific phrases of encouragement will help your preschool understand exactly what they did well and help them identify that skill in the future.


A few examples are 


“Wow Sue, the way that you described that cow was very detailed.” 

“You are so observant.”

“When you were playing with your brother, I noticed how kind you were to him when you did XYZ.” 


Using phrases like these are the perfect way to introduce new vocabulary while improving your child’s self esteem in everyday situations.


Bonus: they will develop the social skills to praise others when they follow simple directions. 


Seek medical help


If you are noticing a speech delay in your child’s speech development, it might be time to see a speech therapist (also known as a speech-language pathologist).


It might seem overwhelming, but speech therapy is actually a wonderful experience. A speech pathologist will take familiar objects and everyday activities and turn them into a fun game. After all, the best way to encourage your toddler’s vocabulary is to have a blast with new activities that will develop motor skills and encourage more communication.


A speech language pathologist are experts at identifying speech skills and helping achieve language milestones quickly. They also will be able to identify any language problems that your child has and identify if they have delayed speech as a result of a speech problem or if they need to be tested for autism spectrum disorder.


Use Screen Time


Yes, I said it! screen time can be an excellent teacher, if your child is watching the right things.


There are shows that encourage communication in toddlers and preschoolers designed to help 3 year olds speak more. Whether it is repeating animal sounds or naming body parts, those shows can help children speak more.


For my kids, this means that we watched shows like:

  • 1) Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
  • 2) Sesame Street
  • 3) Blue’s Clues


These shows were a part of our daily routine and helped prevent any language delay in our home. Sometimes, simple things like a 20 minute show are the best teachers (as long as they keep your child’s attention)


In Summary


There are plenty of activities to encourage communication with your preschooler. Since this age is all about building a foundation for how they will talk with the outside world, incorporating a few of these activities on a weekly basis is a smart idea. 


Of course, if you can’t seem to find the time, the most important thing that you can do to nurture your child’s communication skills is to find time to talk with them. 




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