Take Advantage of Routines

Whether it is meal time, bath time, or any other routine that you and your child participate in together, there are many options to promote speech and language.


  • Talk your child through each step of the routine.
  • For example, if you are preparing a snack, tell him or her about it “You are in your chair! Mommy is making your snack. I am cutting apples. Here are your apples!”
  • Keep your phrases/sentences simple, and speak slowly and clearly.
  • “Eat apples. You are eating apples! Eat apples.”
  • Repetition of the shortest phrases will help with retention.


  • Keeping the transitions into, during, and out of the routine the same each time is a great way to build language.
  • Similar routines allow for the use of the same vocabulary, allowing it to become more pertinent for your child.
  • Allowing your child to hear words and see what the word represents (i.e. “apple,” “eat,” “chair”) adds to the salience of the vocabulary.

Using a Visual Schedule

  • Many children benefit from visuals in their daily lives to help set expectations for what comes next.
  • Visual schedules can be as simple as a picture of the activity your child is participating in at the time, and then what activity will be next (i.e. “playtime” followed by “clean up”).
  • For younger children, using just two pictures at a time is the most effective. As your child becomes comfortable with the two pictures, you can add more to increase their understanding of “first, next, then, last.”


Finding pictures to use doesn’t have to be a chore! My favorite sites to use are…