How can I expand on my child's words?

One of the consistent tips we give parents whose children are using single words is to EXPAND! Children who are using single words and have yet to combine them into 2-word utterances benefit from modeling.

When your child uses a single word, for example “cookie”, you can expand and add another word to it creating a 2-word utterance for your child to imitate.

It’s important when expanding single words into 2-word utterances that you use a variety of combinations. Just tacking on “please” or “thank you” may get your child points for being polite, but let’s try and expand the type of words they are using (e.g. verbs, articles, adjectives).

But HOW? Let’s explore all the different 2 and even 3-word combinations you can make out of the single word “cookie”


2-word combos

the cookie
eat cookie
more cookie
big cookie
cookie in
cookie mouth
my cookie
cookie allgone

3 word combos

the big cookie
I eat cookie
cookie in mouth
I want cookie
cookie go in
gimme two cookies

Using a variety of 2 and 3 word combinations ensures your child will be exposed to easy to imitate combinations that include not only politeness (please, thank you) but a variety of pronouns, action words, prepositions, prepositional phrases, and adjectives as well!

Go ahead, you try! Choose a word your child says often and using the suggestions above, see how many two- and three-word combinations you can come up with!

Let us know how it goes in the comments below :)