Receptive language refers to how a child understands and comprehends language that he hears or reads. Children who are unable to comprehend language may have receptive language difficulties. For instance, they may face difficulties in following directions, reading or identifying objects and pictures.

Following are some activities to help improve receptive language:

  • Puzzles
  • Books
  • Play “Simon says”
  • Use simple language
  • Arts n crafts



Put a puzzle together with your child. Have him find specific pieces like animals, vehicles, or other objects. For example, describe a piece for your child to select “find the green vegetable” or “find the big, red truck that goes very fast”.


Books always interest a child. Look or read books with your child and talk about the characters and pictures. Engage the child, ask him what might happen next or explain why something happened in the story. Reading books with pictures gives a great opportunity to encourage children to answer questions.


Play “Simon says”

A game of Simon Says will always be a source of enjoyment for your child. Take turns with your child in giving and following instructions. It is up to you to make it as easy or complicated as you like depending on the skill level of your child. Start with a basic direction such as “clap your hands” or make the command slightly longer to “count to four, and say your name”.


Use simple language

When talking with your child, make sure you are using simple terms. Do not give out three or more directions in one breath. Break down your directions, simplify the language you use with the child so it is at a level that he can understand.

Arts n crafts

While working on crafts, give simple directions to your child. Practice telling and retelling the steps to an activity to your child with slow, easy speech. You can also ask the child a variety of questions about the craft.

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