This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hearing, Understanding, and Talking: Birth through 5 Years

When I went to my son's Kindergarten orientation, they gave us this paper with milestones to watch for at different ages so far as hearing, understanding, and talking go. I thought it was a simple list and thought I would share it. As you look at this list, you can think of activities to do to help build and exercise these skills. I will share some of my own ideas in further posts.

Remember that children reach milestones at different ages. A nice thing about this list is that after one year old, it covers one year at a time. So if your child is 12 months old and you are looking at the 1-2 years list, then don't stress if she doesn't meet everything--she likely won't. These are things she should develop over the course of this year.

If you are concerned about any of these, be sure to talk to your pediatrician.


  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Quiets or smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to recognize your voice and quiets if crying
  • Increases or decreases sucking behavior in response to sound
  • Makes pleasure sounds like cooing and gooing
  • Cries differently for different needs
  • Smiles when she sees you


  • Moves eyes in direction of sounds
  • Responds to changes in tone of your voice
  • Notices toys that make sounds
  • Pays attention to music
  • Babbling sounds get more speech-like with different sounds like p, b, and m
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you


  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo
  • Turns and looks in direction of sounds
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Recognizes common words like "cup," "more," "drink" (whatever words you use often with her)
  • Begins to respond to requests like "come here" and "are you done" and "do you want more"
  • Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as "tata upup bibibibi"
  • Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Speaks one or two words, though they might not be clear. Words include Dada, Mama, bye-bye...

1-2 YEARS (the one year old)

  • Points to a few body parts when asked
  • Follows simple commands and understands simple questions (Roll the ball, Kiss the baby, Where is your shoe)
  • Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes
  • Points to pictures in a book when named
  • Says more words every month
  • Uses some 1-2 word questions (Where's kitty?, What's that?)
  • Puts two words together (more please, mommy book)
  • Uses many different consonant sounds of the beginning of words

2-3 YEARS (the two year old)

  • Understands differences in meaning (go/stop, in/on, big/little, up/down)
  • Follows two requests at a time (get the book and put it on the table)
  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses 2-3 word sentences to talk about and ask for things
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time
  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them

3-4 YEARS (the three year old)

  • Hears you when you call from another room
  • Hears television or radio at the same loudness levels as other family members
  • Understands simple "who, what, where, why" questions
  • Talks about activities at school or friends' homes
  • People outside family usually understand speech
  • Uses a lot of sentences that have four or more words
  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words

4-5 YEARS (the four year old)

  • Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about it
  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school
  • Voice sounds clear
  • Uses sentences taht give details (I like to read my books)
  • Tells stories that stick to topic
  • Communicates easily with other children and adults
  • Says most sounds correctly except a few like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th
  • Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family

1 comment:

Redheads said...

My 15 month is right on target, actually above average for hearing/understanding. However, she doesn't talk and rarely babbles. She has begun to use my name "Mama" more frequently over the last 2 weeks. I am going to bring this up to the doctor next week.
However, I believe that it is quite common for kids to have delayed talking. I have never heard of a child going to a speech therapist until 2-3 years of age, so I really don't think there is a whole lot that my ped is going to say to do right now other than wait.


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