Let’s face it, trying to have a real talk with a 2-year-old can sometimes be a challenge (albeit a humorous one). If you’re looking for some ideas for conversations with your 2-year-old in an effort to strengthen their language development, you’ve come to the right place. Before you know it, the nonstop chatter phase will hit (hard), and you’ll never be at a loss for words again (you’ll be too busy answering questions about urgent matters like why stoplights are red).
toddler might not be speaking in full sentences just yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening to everything you say and storing that information away. Feel free to talk to them like you would any other older kid, using full sentences and steering away from baby talk. They probably understand more than you know!
Regularly talking to your 2-year-old, even if their speech back is limited, can help them
develop their language and get them talking more later on when they’re able to. Don’t feel limited to the obvious hot button issues for tots (Peppa Pig, ice cream). Try these easy conversation starters and see where they take you. 1 Their Day
These are great questions to ask at the end of the day, while you’re both winding down before bed. Get them talking about what they did and help their memory as well.
What is the best thing that happened today? The worst thing? What is the nicest thing you did today? Did someone do something nice for you? What was your favorite part about today? What do you wish you did today? What did you not like about today? 2 Family
Start close to home with questions about your family. You may be surprised at a few of these answers!
Who are the people you live with? What is your favorite thing to do with your family? Is there anything you would like to change about your family? (You may want to have a video of this one; who knows what your little one will say!) How old are mama and daddy? What is one thing you want to do as a family this week? 3 Entertainment
If your toddler indulges in a little TV or movie time once in a while, they probably have a few favorites. Ask them about their favorite shows, movies, and characters to get them excited to chat.
What is your favorite movie to watch? Who is your favorite character from that movie? What is your favorite song to sing to? What movie do you think is scary? What is your favorite game to play on your tablet? 4 Future Plans
Instead of just talking to your little one about what they did during the day, you should also start conversations about what they’re going to do that day, or what they want to do in the near future.
What do you want to do today? Are you excited to see your friends this weekend? What do you not want to do today? Who do you want to see later? What do you want to do for your birthday? 5 Animals
Animals are one of the very first things that children learn about in books and something they see all the time, either in their own home or out in the world. I love this line of questioning for toddlers.
What is your favorite animal? What are the names of your pets? Or, if you don’t have a pet: What animal would you want as a pet? What noise does your favorite animal make? Which animal are you afraid of? If you could be an animal for a day, what would you be? 6 Food
A great conversation to have at any meal time, obviously. You can ask some general questions or questions specifically about what they’re eating.
What is your favorite food? What foods are crunchy/spicy/sweet/sticky? If you could pick out dinner, what would we have? What would you make if you were making dinner? What is the best snack? 7 Sounds Michele Pevide/E+/Getty Images
Toddlers are especially attuned to the world around them. Sometimes I feel like my 2-year-old hears absolutely everything and is always saying, “What was that?” Help them understand what they hear all the time with some questions.
Did you just hear that noise? What do you think it was? What noise does your favorite animal make? What noise do babies make when they’re sad? What noise does a car make? What does your favorite song sound like? 8 Feelings
It’s always a good idea to talk to your toddler about their feelings and emotions. It helps them learn how to process things and helps them give a name to their feelings.
What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What makes you feel shy? What is something you love doing? What are you afraid of? 9 Their Hobbies
Sure, they might be only 2 years old, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have hobbies! Ask them about the things they love doing the most to really get them excited.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re playing? What do you love to do with your friends? Where is your favorite place to go? What do you wish you could do today? What do you love to do outside? 10 The Outside World
2-year-olds are endlessly fascinated by what’s going on outside the windows of their home. From staring at the cars that pass by to gazing at the clouds, they would love to talk more about what’s going on in nature.
What do you see passing by the house? What color is that bird? Where is your favorite place to go outside? What do you like to see when we go on a walk? What color is the sky? 11 Their Toys
What do toddlers love more than their toys? Not very much! While they’re playing or if you’re trying to get them to play, ask some questions about the items in their room and playroom.
What is your favorite toy to play with? Which toy do you not want to play with? Why? What color is this toy? Who got you this toy? What noise does this toy make? 12 Books
Getting your little one to talk about their books only makes them more excited about reading, and who doesn’t want that? Encourage their love of books by starting a little discussion about them.
Which of these books is your favorite? Do you know what this book is about? What noise do the animals in this book make? What would you write a book about? Can you tell me why you like this book? 13 Day Care & School
If your tot goes to day care or a little preschool, one way to learn more about what they do there is to simply ask. There are a few more ways to talk about their day there instead of just saying “how was your day?” (Which is, of course, a perfectly fine question to ask anyway!)
What did you do at day care today? What was your favorite thing that you did? Who are your friends at day care? What does your teacher at day care always say? What did you learn at day care? 14 Colors
Want to keep things simple but educational? Ask about colors. There are so many ways to do this and it really teaches them a lot.
What color is the toy next to you? What is your favorite color? What colors do you see outside? What color is Mommy’s outfit? What color shirt do you want to wear today? 15 Imagination
Help them dream big and encourage creativity with questions about their very wild imagination. There’s nothing wrong with a little pretend!
What kind of animal do you wish you could be? If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Let’s pretend your bedroom is a magical place. What can we do there? Do you want to build a boat and sail somewhere? Where? What do you think that animal would say if it could talk?
This article was originally published on
June 8, 2019