Toddler Language

This Page has 2 sections:

If this is your first time here, please read the introduction. It is necessary! If you have been here before, jump down to the games and download your copies!

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By 4 years old, a child should be able to associate common vocabulary words together.

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. 

This section is comprised of:

  • Drill Practice
  • Functional Grames

Drill Practice:

To initially teach a child how to relate vocabulary words together, begin with the flashcard activity.  The visuals (pictures) on the cards combined with the decreased distractions of daily life are very beneficial. However, don’t spend too much time here, maybe just a day or two.

Functional Games:

After initially teaching how to relate vocabulary words together, start to play one of the functional games. These games will help with generalization of progress made to conversational speech. 

Vocabulary Association Games

1. Flash Card Teaching Phase

What you Need: 

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 which picture goes best with the original picture. 

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

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2. Drawing

Needed Materials

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 leader. Once the second object is drawn, discuss how the two objects go together. See if you guys can draw a third and fourth object! This is a great start to categorization!! 


Your child might not be able to actually draw the desired object and that is NORMAL. Just pretend his/her scribbles are what he/she says they are.

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3. Car Ride Game: Which 2 Go Together?

Needed Materials


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.”
  • To make this game educational and to introduce categorization, talk about why things do or don’t got together. 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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› Associations


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