How to Improve Your 3-Year-Old's Vocabulary


When your child turns three, his language skills begin to develop at a much faster rate than before. A typical three-year old has a vocabulary of about 200 to 300 words, according to Even if your child's vocabulary is within the normal range, it's never a bad idea to try to increase his vocabulary. Your three-year-olds is impressionable, and most things you say or do will stick with him. By introducing your child to new words every day, his vocabulary will eventually expand.

  • Talk to your 3-year-old using adult language. While it may feel unnatural, adult language will expand your child's vocabulary by introducing new words.

  • Ask your child questions. Asking your 3-year-old questions forces him to answer you, which will build his language skills and vocabulary. As your child speaks with more regularity, it's inevitable that his vocabulary will increase.

  • Play games with your child and talk throughout the game. For example, if you and your child are using a toy oven to create make-believe dishes, say, "I'm going to cook pancakes for the customers, what are you going to cook?" Your child may not know what the word "Customer" means, so that gives her the chance to ask you what that word means. Even if she doesn't ask what something means, she'll still absorb the new words.

  • Ask your 3-year-old what certain objects are throughout the day. For example, if your child is in the living room, point to the couch and say "What's that?" If he answers something different from couch, tell him that the object is a couch and explain what a couch is.

  • Read to your child. Books help to spark your child's creativity and vocabulary. Read slowly and make sure your child understands the book. If she appears confused, explain the concept in clear terms.

Tips & Warnings

  • Patience is key when trying to expand your child's vocabulary. Never show impatience or anger if your child does not understand what you are saying.


  • Photo Credit face of a toddler image by Pix by Marti from
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