1 - 2 Years


  • At around 18 months, children will know around 50 words and can say about 20.
  • Children use sounds to represent meaning, e.g. “moo” for a cow.
  • Starting to form sentences – combining two words, e.g. “doggy gone”48.
  • Can follow simple commands in context, e.g. “come here”, “give it to me”49.
  • Follows two-part instructions, e.g. "point to the dog and the monkey".


Caregiving behaviours that support the milestone

  • Building on the ideas above, chat and play with the things that interest your child. Ask them what they want to sing, play with or read. Play, sing and read together.
  • Name objects and offer choices to build vocabulary. When you are playing, ask your child to hand you items you ask for, e.g. teddy, book, ball.
  • Talk about what you are doing together – use words for actions as well as things. Use short simple sentences.
  • Encourage use of and play with sounds.
  • Introduce more songs and rhymes using gestures and objects to reinforce key words.
  • Share picture books with your child and help them to name the pictures. Ask them to find familiar objects in books.


Adapted from: EIF Early Intervention Framework with Input from National Literacy Trust and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists