By the time a child is 2 years old, she should able to communicate orally with a vocabulary of about 50 words. She will be able to speak in two- to three-word sentences and eventually increase to four, five and six words per sentence. As many as one in 10 children, however, experience speech difficulties along the way, according to Healthy Children, an American Academy of Pediatrics website. Learn how to promote speech development in your toddler and encourage speaking skills through experience, opportunity and play.
Use clear, direct, simple language when speaking to your toddler, and talk to her often. Speak slowly and in short sentences to make it easier for your child to mimic and repeat what you say.
Read frequently together. Point to pictures and encourage your toddler to name them. Read simple story lines to promote your child's ability to predict and sequence events. Ask yes or no questions about the story along the way.
Expand your child's vocabulary by labeling items around the house, naming objects, and asking questions that give your child a choice such as "do you want apple slices or blueberries?"
Sing songs and speak in rhymes with your toddler to reinforce speech rhythms and patterns.
Consult a speech, language or early child development specialist if you think your child's speech might not be developing properly.