Who, What, Where & Why?

Technique 77 – Ask, answer, and talk, talk, talk.

Two Years to Three

At first you will notice your child’s being able to answer many more questions. Then you will notice your child’s starting to do the asking. Who, what, where, and why questions will begin. When comes a little later. During this year your child will be able to understand more and more adult speech and at the same time begin to understand the stories he or she hears in books. You will continue to hear many new vocabulary words and then notice understanding of over 2,000 words.

None of this will happen overnight or by accident. It will be the result of your or other adults’ being with your child, talking to him or her, asking questions, answering questions, explaining what is happening, and carrying on conversation after conversation. Reading to your child will also play a major role in increasing your child’s vocabulary and language skills.

Here are two important ways to help keep your child growing in language skills.


Your child’s new level of understanding is what will stimulate his or her desire to ask questions. Here is a fun way to encourage the asking.

Write each one of these words on a separate index card: Who, What, Where, and Why. Then take these with you and go on a walk together. Stop at any interesting sight, inside or outside your house. Then have your child pick a card from you. Then go ahead and ask a question beginning with that word. Here are some examples.

Who is that?

What are they doing?

Where is the ball?

Why did she do that?



Gradually during this year your child will be able to express him or herself better and better. Phrases that started out like “red hat big” could turn into something like “the big red hat.” Sentences that began like “The cat see Erica” might end up as “I see the cat.” Here is a popular activity that is also very good at helping children fine tune their expressive language skills.

Set out six objects on a table. Ask your child to say which one he or she wants by describing it. When you recognize the description, give your child the object. Then take your turn. Describe one of the objects and ask your child to give it to you. Continue taking turns until all the objects have been described and taken. If you and your child wish to play again, use the same objects or get out a whole new set of different ones.

Excerpted from Constructive Parenting pp. 85-86

Constructive Parenting…

Sorting is a wonderful way to share time together and encourage conversation at the same time.

Begin with simple objects that you probably already have around the house. Find different groups that you can sort by color, category or size. Some examples include bottle caps, blocks, socks, silverware, markers, crayons, pencils, paper clips, and rubber bands.


November! The Month of Giving Thanks

This is the first in a series of three “giving thanks” exercises to do to daily that will raise your own personal happiness level. As you now know from previous tips this month, the more you give thanks, the higher your gratitude level will be; and the higher your gratitude level is, the higher will be your general sense of happiness. Here is gratitude/happiness tip #1

1. Make a habit of spending three minutes a day thinking of the good things in your life. If handy, use a three-minute egg timer to help you set aside this precious time. Just the soothing sight of the grains flowing through the hour-glass will aid in your concentration and as a result the effectiveness of your thinking process.

NOTE: This activity is valuable whenever you find time to do it. However, it will be especially beneficial if you include it as part of your “going-to-bed” routine or even when falling asleep.


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