Answering Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions are an important step in your child’s receptive and expressive language abilities. Answering these questions is also functionally important so they can communicate how their day was or what they want to eat for dinner. There are so many great opportunities for answering wh- questions while you are out and about with your little one. Whether it is on your morning walks together or during a shopping trip to Target, here are some examples on how to practice answering wh- questions.
WHO?: Think about your morning walks to the park with your kiddo. Do you see a mailwoman delivering mail or the garbage man collecting your trash? These are great opportunities to teach your kiddo how to answer the question “WHO?”. Answering questions like these are not just important for language development, but also to help your kiddo identify people who help us like firefighters or police officers.
WHAT?: This question is great because you can ask “What?” about almost anything, especially items already familiar to your kiddo. If your kiddo is learning colors you can simply ask, “What color is that?”. If your kiddo is still learning you can even give them support by giving them choices like, “Is it red or is it blue?”. Since mealtime is three times a day every day this is also a great opportunity to ask, “What do you want to eat?” or you can give them choices too.
WHEN?: Answering a ‘when’ question typically develops later than ‘what’ or ‘where’ question. A great way to introduce your child to a question like this is to relate it to an important time for them like knowing, “When is your birthday?” You can incorporate it into your daily routine by asking, “When do we have breakfast?”.
WHERE?: There are too many fun ways to practice understanding and answering the question “Where?”. There is something about hide-and-seek that kids seem to really enjoy! You can hide their favorite toys and ask them “Where is your monster truck?”. If your child is still developing language, they may start by pointing to answer a question like this.
WHY?: “Why is the grass green? Why is the sky blue? Why do I have to eat my broccoli?” Introducing your curious kiddo to the question, “Why?”, can be tough. One great way is to first explain to your child why we do things like eat our vegetables or take a bath. Once you’ve explained multiple times you can ask them, “Why do we eat our vegetables?”.
With warmth and gratitude,
The Fox Team