Communicating with our kids is one of the most pleasurable and rewarding parts
of parenting. Children learn by absorbing information through daily interactions and
experiences not only with us, but with other adults, family members, other kids, and
And between the ages of 4 and 5, many kids enter preschool or kindergarten programs,
with language skills a key part of learning in the classroom.
Communicating With Your Child
The more interactive conversation and play kids are involved in, the more
they learn. Reading books, singing, playing word games, and simply talking to kids
will increase their vocabulary while providing increased opportunities to develop
Here some ways you can help boost your child's communication skills:
Talk with your child about the TV
programs and videos you watch together.
Keep books, magazines, and other reading material where kids can reach them without
Help kids create their own "This Is Me" or "This Is Our Family" album with photographs
Vocabulary and Communication Patterns
As kids gain language skills, they also develop their conversational abilities.
Kids 4 to 5 years old can follow more complex directions and enthusiastically talk
about things they do. They can make up stories, listen attentively to stories, and
At this age, kids usually can understand that letters and numbers are symbols of
real things and ideas, and that they can be used to tell stories and offer information.
Most will know the names and gender of family members and other personal information.
They often play with words and make up silly words and stories.
Their sentence structures may now include five or more words, and their vocabulary
is between 1,000 and 2,000 words. Speech at this age should be completely understandable,
although there may be some developmental sound errors and stuttering,
particularly among boys.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
If you suspect your child has a problem with hearing,
language skills, or speech clarity,
talk to your doctor. A hearing test may be one of the first steps to find out if your
child has a hearing problem.
Communication problems among kids in this age group include:
trouble following directions
trouble asking or answering questions
difficulty holding a conversation
poor vocabulary growth
trouble learning preschool concepts, such as colors and counting
trouble putting sentences together
Some kids will outgrow these problems. Others might need speech
therapy or further evaluation.