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Words a child should know by age

  • 1.  Words a child should know by age

    Posted 10-27-2020 06:00 AM
    A parent has asked me if there is a list of words by age that a child should know--similar to a sight word list. I responded "good question" and I will find out. I am seeking answers. Is there such a list? IF so where would I find it?
    Thank you so much in advance for your assistance.

    Miss Nancy
    Pre-K Teacher
    Waldorf MD

  • 2.  RE: Words a child should know by age

    Posted 10-28-2020 12:35 AM
    A simple way to ball park the total number of words is 1, 10, 100.   At age 1 a child often says his/her first word (more or less). At 18 months they have about 10 words (more or less), and at 24 months, they say about 100 words more or less. If a child has 50 words at 24 months old I would not be very concerned. Yet, if they have 2 then this is a concern. Regarding specific words I am not aware of a guide of specific words by what age.

    Also, what is driving the parents question? Are they simply curious? Is there a concern? When I ask parents what is making them curious about this or if they have a concern they then have the opportunity and permission to share their question or concern.

    My suggestion, when in doubt, check it out. If the concern is significant by the parent and/or by others, then why not assess it by an expert in early childhood development like a speech pathologist or psychologist.

    Scott Mesh, PhD, CEO
    Los Niños Services (NYC)
    Los Niños Training,

  • 3.  RE: Words a child should know by age

    Posted 10-28-2020 08:12 AM  is an excellent website that has a parent checklist for speech and language development. You might choose to share this with the parent. Pam

    Pamela McCullough
    Holland PA

  • 4.  RE: Words a child should know by age

    Posted 10-28-2020 10:43 AM
    When I was a Director at a coop nursery school, I would have been taken aback by a question like this. I would, instead of giving the parent a list of words, provide her with NAEYC's widely held expectations for development at different ages - readily available in the DAP book by Copple and Bredekamp. Another resource would be Gesell's work. I would emphasize to the parent that each child develops in each development domain unevenly but that, barring any developmental issues, all children will learn to recognize alphabet letters, sounds, and sight words when they enter kindergarten and later primary grades.

    This parent sounds very anxious. Maybe, another strategy might be to develop a decent enough relationship with the parent where you might be able to discuss the anxiety about word recognition and what is leading her to ask for a sight word list.

    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ