Teach Your Young Child to Describe, Categorize, Classify, Compare, and Contrast Objects

Take the opportunity daily to expand your child’s language, by describing, categorizing, comparing and contrasting the things you see.  Talk about their color, size, shape, function, texture, amount, and position.

Describe things; “Look at the blue car” (color), “There is a tall man” (size), “Look at the big yellow “M” in front of MacDonald’s.  It lets us know where MacDonald’s is.” (size, color, position, function). “The kitty’s fur is so soft.” (texture), “Look at the six eggs. They are oval-shaped.” (amount, shape).

Categorize and classify things; “Look at all the yellow blocks.” (color), “Look at the

four huge trucks below us.” (amount, size, position), “The balls all have the same shape. They are all round.” (shape). “Balls can bounce because they are round.” (shape, function).

Compare and contrast things; “There is a big truck. See the truck next to it.  It is much smaller.” (position, size), “The big truck carries milk and the smaller one carries grain.” (size, function), “Four of the kittens are orange and one is gray.” (color, number), “These apples have smooth skins, these oranges have bumpy skins.” (texture).

Play the What Am I? game to increase your child’s use of descriptive language.   Describe an object that both you and your child can see at home, in the car, or in the neighborhood and ask your child to guess what it is.  “I see something that is rectangular and it is red.”  (neighbor’s front door).  “I see something that is small and round and silver.”  (car radio knob.)  “I see something that is round and red and made of rubber and it bounces.”  (a ball)

When you describe, categorize, classify, compare, and contrast objects as you talk with your child, you are helping your child develop important language skills for school success.

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