Preschool Milestones and June Newsletter

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At some point most parents are told to “enjoy these years because they go by quickly.” It does seem that way as children are continuously developing through milestones. There are many key developmental milestones set for each age. For example, when looking at the milestones for language development we see that by the age of three, most children begin to hold short back and forth conversations, ask questions, tell you their name when asked, and tell you what’s happening in a picture book. Then by four years old most children are forming sentences with four or more words, telling you about at least one thing that happened during their day, and answering simple questions. When most children reach five years old they are able to answer questions about a story they just heard, retell stories with up to two events, make up stories, use rhymes, and hold longer back and forth conversations. (*Children vary in their progression through developmental milestones, so do not stress. It’s important to communicate to your child’s physician about any concerns you may have.)

Looking deeper into the milestones for language development, a child actually begins to develop communication skills much earlier than preschool years. An infant’s first cry is recognized as their first signs of communication. Infants learn that crying usually brings food, comfort, and the things they need.

Language development also begins in infancy long before a child begins to speak as infants have a unique ability to master language at a quick pace. By the time they reach six months of age, babies can recognize the basic speech sounds of the native language spoken in their home. Children are constantly listening and learning. By the time the child is three years old they are able to apply what they’ve learned to hold short back and forth conversations or ask questions.

Helping your child reach these language milestones can be as simple as talking to your child and reading to them throughout the day so that they can hear new words being used in everyday context. When you have conversations, include interesting new words or various describing words in what you say.

Examples: “That is stupendous!” “This grape is very sour.”

There will be times you come across words your child does not understand as they are developing their language skills. Whether reading a book or during conversation, stop and talk about the word before you continue on.

Talk about what the word means by giving a child friendly explanation that is on their level. You may need to draw on a past experience to help them understand the context. Follow up by using the word in a simple sentence so they can make the connection between the word and its meaning.

Next, ask them to try making a sentence with this new word. As you go through your week, try using the word in conversation here and there and encourage your child or other family members to do so as well.

Two adults reading to young child


You are reading a story with your preschooler about a character named Ava, who is about to go on a big adventure. They give you a confused look and ask what this means.

You explain that an adventure is an exciting journey that might be a little dangerous. “Ava is about to explore the wilderness, but she is not scared. Ava says that this will be an adventure!”

Next, you ask your child if they can come up with a sentence using the word adventure. Be sure not to criticize or laugh at their attempt. If they do not understand how to use the word, you can give gentle guidance or more examples.

Later that day you ask your child if they would like to go on a pretend adventure to look for treasure. Throughout the week your family makes sure to use the word adventure in various ways.

Again, the development of language skills starts before children begin to speak. There are also simple activities parents can do with their babies to help encourage the development these milestones. For example, talk to your baby as you dress them, feed them, and do other activities through the day. Explain what you are doing or where you are going. Be sure to use clear, simple speech that is easy for them to understand. For more information on this topic and other parenting topics, see the June Growing Together Newsletter below.

This month’s Growing Together Newsletter PDF is available in the link below. It includes a fun yarn activity, encouragement for parents, questions parents ask, and the development of early literacy skills. As always there is an activity calendar at the end of the newsletter.

June Newsletter Link

*Note: The CDC defines developmental milestones as “things most children (75% or more) can do by a certain age.” Milestones for ages 2 months through 5 years can be found at the CDC’s website. If you are concerned that your child is not meeting most of the milestones for their age group or has lost skills they once had, speak with your child’s doctor for advice. 


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023b, June 6). CDC’s Developmental Milestones. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Speech and language developmental milestones. National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.