Toddler Language

Association means identifying what goes with what best?

This is an early developing language skill that is very important for learning, storing, retrieving and relating information together. 

Language Milestones Targeted

Expressive Language

Receptive Language

  • Uses about 500 words 
  • Speaks with 4+ word phrases 
  • Understands 900 words 

Flash Card Teaching Phase

What you Need: Association Flashcards

How to Play: Sit down at a table with your child. Place all the cards on the table face up. Then, decide which cards go together best. If this is overwhelming for your child, take one card and show it to your child. Have your child name the picture. Then pick out 2 or 3 more cards with the right answer mixed in. Have your child decide with picture goes best with the original picture. 

Sometimes just having a few choices helps some children focus better.


What You need: Paper, markers, or crayons

How to Play: One person draws on object. Then that person gives the paper to other player and the other player must draw an object that goes with it. 

Takes turns with your child being the lead. Once the second object is drawn, discuss how the two objects do together. If you can draw a third and fourth! This is a great start to categorization!!

Car Ride Game: Which 2 Go Together?

What You Need: Nothing!

How to Play: This game is very simple. Name 2 objects and ask your child if they go together. For example, you might say apple and they go together? Your child should say yes! Make sure to think of pairs that do not go together such as “piano and hamburger.” Your child should say “no” and most likely giggle.

To make this game educational and to introduce categorization, talk about why things go together and why they do not. For example, you can say “apple and orange go together because they are fruit.” “Piano and hamburger don’t go together because a piano is a musical instrument and a hamburger is a food.”


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