Preschool Language Activities

Fun Ways to Encourage Language Development in Early Childhood

Preschool language activities play an important role in the development of your child's vocabulary, listening skills, and communication skills. From birth to the age of five, children develop language skills at a fast pace. Generally speaking, a girl's language development is faster than a boy's. Also, it may take children who live in a multi-lingual household longer before they begin to talk. After the age of five, it becomes more difficult to learn a new language.

Guideline for language development between ages 3 to 5:

The three year old child can:

  • Vocabulary increases at a steady pace.
  • Is able to construct sentences using 3 to 4 words.
  • Listens to other people's conversations.
  • Learns words to rhyming songs.
  • Is able to retell stories by focusing on specific parts.

The four year old child can:

  • Talks to others about personal experiences.
  • Uses six to eight word sentences.
  • Listens to other people's conversations and joins in.
  • Can repeat multi-step directions.
  • Uses positional words (under, over, around).
  • Is able to retell basic stories following the right sequence.

The five year old child can:

  • Can express their needs, wants, and feelings without difficulty.
  • Participates in conversations.
  • Can follow multi-step instructions.
  • Can recall and recite stories, songs, poems, and movies in sequence.
  • Uses positional words (under, over, around).

Preschool language activities: 


Play this easy category game with your child. Choose a category: e.g. Clothes. Begin brainstorming names of items that fit that category such as: Shorts, pants, T-shirts, sweaters, hats. Build up to more complex categories such as: Clothing items we wear in the winter. 

I like using this set of 168 language cards to help brainstorm ideas. It includes food cards, animal cards and everyday objects.

Family Talk

Open up a conversation with your child about the people in your family. I have a daddy and a mommy, their names are Noah and Jessica. My uncles are Zach and Daniel. I live in a house in the city of New York. My little brother's name is Evan....

How many grandparents do you have? What are their names? Where do they live?

Puppet Picnic - Fun Preschool Language Activities Development

This is actually an idea that I got from my son. He loves to put up a puppet show or have a puppet picnic with his animal puppets. Through the puppets I encourage his conversation skills and increase his vocabulary. It is lovely to hear the things the lion has to tell the bear and how the monkey gets involved.

More preschool language activities...

Wishing List

This game helps children develop their imagination. Start a sentence with: I wish....

  • I wish I could go swimming today.
  • I wish I could meet Mr. Incredible.
  • I wish I could give my daddy a pony-back ride....

Encourage your child to create longer sentences and build up to a short story: "I wish I could fly all the way to the moon and sit on a star...."

Telephone Time - Preschool Language Activities

From an early age children are fascinated with telephones. They see us talking on the phone and try to mimic our actions. Let your child talk on the phone with relatives and their peers. Help the flow of the conversation by staying near by and guiding them. You can also have a pretend telephone conversation when you play with your child.

Instruction Time

Being able to follow instructions is a must when entering kindergarten. Begin with giving your child one step instructions. In class I tell the kids: "Draw a picture." Then, I tell them the next step: "Cut your picture." Finally I say, "Glue your picture." As time progresses I combine the steps into one: "You need to draw, cut and glue your picture."

How Was Your Day?

This is our favorite supper time game. We go around the table and each person says their favorite and least favorite part of their day. We try to open up the conversation by asking open ended questions instead of questions that have a yes/no answers to them.

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