Easily expand your child's vocabulary and sentence length with our Repeat-Expand-Repeat technique. It is easy to do, and with a little practice, it will be second nature for you. The scripts below will give an idea on how to accomplish this task. 

There is so much vocabulary outside. Something new for your child to discover each day! Learn how to make the most out of your enjoyable time. 

Language Milestones Targeted

Expressive Language

Receptive Language

  • Uses about 200-300 words consistently 
  • Speaks with 3+ word phrases 
  • Uses words to get attention 
  • Understands 500 words 


What You Need:  Nothing!

How To Play: There are a few ways to use Repeat-Expand-Repeat technique while out for a walk with your child. How you play will depend on your child's current language ability. Remember to match your child's language and then expand it by a few words.

To begin this game, go for a walk with your child. Your child can be walking next to you (preferable) or in a stroller. If you decide to use a stroller, make sure to stop and talk with your child on his or her level every once in a while. This way you can talk with your child instead of at him or her.

When your child says a word, any word, expand on it. If your child is quiet, you may have to start the conversation by pointing out an animal or object. Next, once your child says a word, repeat it to give validation. Then repeat the word or phrase while adding a word or two (expansion). Wait a few moments to see if your child will repeat your expanded phrase. If your child repeats you, yeah, success! If your child does not repeat your phrase, repeat it one more time and move on. 


  • Don't correct your child’s grammar if they are less than 3 years of age. Grammar skills develop slowly over the next few years.
  • Expand with one or two words only. Keep it simple! If your expansion is too long, your child may not repeat it.
  • Give adequate wait time, up to 10 seconds in some cases, for your child to respond.
  • This technique is beneficial as it gives validation to your child’s communication attempts and expands the length of their utterances.

Example Script:

Parent and child are on a walk

  • Parent: I see doggie (parent points to dog)
  • Child: Doggie   
  • Parent: Doggie (parent repeats)                                                    
  • Parent: Brown doggie (parent expands)    
  • Child: Doggie (child repeats one word)
  • Parent: (parent waits a few seconds)
  • Child: Brown doggie? (child repeats)                   
  • Parent: Brown doggie. (parent repeats) Good talking!                                             

Parent and child are on a walk

  • Child: Purple flower (child points to flower)
  • Parent: Purple flower (parent repeats)
  • Parent: I see purple flower (parent expands)
  • Child: See purple flower (child repeats expanded phrase, yeah!)
  • Parent: I see purple flower (parent repeats one more time)

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