About Say & Play With Words

The more words children hear before kindergarten, the more success they often achieve. We’ll share information, activities, and resources through this site to give parents and caregivers relevant resources to help grow their child’s vocabulary. Everyday tasks and time with children provide opportunities to simply talk with them. At very young ages these conversations may seem one-sided, but talking with your children is one of the most effective ways to foster vocabulary development.


  • By age 3, research has shown that children from low-income families are hearing up to 30 million fewer words than those from higher-income families.
  • Studies indicate vocabulary skills are important in predicting reading development over time.

Facts about language development:

  • Economic background significantly impacts word learning during the early years.
  • Babbling is the first stage of language development.
  • A typical 18-month-old has a receptive vocabulary of about 200 words and an expressive vocabulary of around 70 words.
  • Most children understand approximately 10,000 words by first grade.
  • The number of words children hear by age 3 is an indicator of fourth grade academic success.
  • Boys typically begin talking later than girls and have more language delays. This is also true of twins.
  • Learning two languages at the same time does NOT cause language delays. Bilingual and monolingual children have the same development patterns and have similar total vocabularies.

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