Better Speech 2 min read

How Can Animals Help Your Late Talker Toddler?

Here are some fun ways to interact with animals and improve your late talker toddler language skills, or work together with these pictures!

Tip: use pictures and “WH” questions

Speech-language pathologists utilize “wh” questions to teach children various language concepts. There are different “wh” questions, including “what” “where” “when” “who” and “why.”

Below are some examples for opportunities to ask your late talker toddler some “wh” questions. I’ll demonstrate with pictures, but real life is even better! You may notice some highlighted keywords in the responses, like ON or BY because those are some concepts we are trying to teach the child!

What are the dogs doing?

late talker toddler

You can ask your child, “What are the dogs doing?”

Your late talker toddler might respond with, “play” or “playing.”

You can then model, “The dogs are playing” and ask “Why do dogs play?”

Your child might say, “to have fun” or “fun.”

You can model, “The dogs play to have fun.”

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Is the dog on the couch or on the floor?

late talker toddler

You can also take an opportunity to give a choice of two answers for some questions.

Ask your child, “Is the dog on the couch or on the floor?”

Then model, “The dog is on the couch.”

Why is the dog in the bed?

late talker toddler

Ask your child, “Why is the dog in the bed?”

Then model, “The dog is sleepy” or “The dog is tired.”

Where is the cat?

late talker toddler

Ask your child, “Where is the cat?”

Then model, “The cat is ON the table.”

Where is the cat?

where is the cat?

Ask your child, “Where is the cat?”

Then model, “The cat is IN the bed.”

Ask your child, “When do cats sleep?”

“All day.”

“When do you sleep?”

“At night.”

Where is the cat?

late talker toddler

Ask your child, “Where is the cat?”

Then model, “The cat is ON the chair.”

Where is the fish?

late talker toddler

Ask your child, “Where is the fish?”

Then model, “The fish is IN the water” or “The fish is BY the rocks.”

At the Zoo

This approach can also work at the zoo! On your next visit, try asking your child “wh” questions, like the ones below, about the zoo animals.

What is the elephant doing?

late talker toddler

Ask your child, “What is the elephant doing?”

Then model, “The elephant is eating.”

Ask your child, “Why is the elephant eating?”

Then model, “The elephant is hungry.”

Where are the lions?

Where are the lions?

Ask your child, “Where are the lions?”

Then model, “The lions are ON the rock.”

Where are the flamingos?

Where are the flamingos?

Ask your child, “Where are the flamingos?”

Then model, “The flamingos are IN the water.”

Where is the monkey?

late talker toddler

Ask your child, “Where is the Monkey? Is the Monkey IN the tree, or ON the grass?”

Then model, “The monkey is IN the tree.”

Asking your child “wh” questions about their favorite animal’s behavior can make improving language skills fun!

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