Free Checklist: Speech skills for kids aged 0-7


It’s important to remember that speech and language development begins before your children say their first words. This helpful chart, shared by the speech therapists at Kids First in Sydney’s northern beaches, will help you determine if your child is reaching reaching speech and language developmental milestones.

Free Children's Speech Checklist


All children are different and the age at which they acquire speech and language skills often vary, however the order in which these developmental milestones are achieved is usually the same.

0-6 months
  • Responds to voices, sounds
  • Recognises voices, tones
  • Cries at different pitches to express different needs
  • Smiles
  • Coos
  • Produces ‘p’, ‘b’ and ‘m’ sounds in babbling

7-12 months
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Responds to his/her name
  • Understands “no” and common objects (e.g., cup)
  • Understands some simple commands
  • Uses more complex babbling
  • Uses speech intentionally
  • Uses more gestures to communicate
  • Produces first words

19-24 months
  • Understands additional simple commands
  • Points to one to three body parts
  • Makes more requests
  • Speech is unintelligible
  • Repeats more
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 5-20 words

2-3 years
  • Has a receptive vocabulary of 500-900 words
  • Follows 2-step directions
  • Identifies more body parts
  • Requests objects by naming
  • Understands “one” and “all”
  • Knows at least three prepositions ( e.g., in, on, under)
  • Speech is 50%- 75% intelligible
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 50-250 words and more
  • Uses 2-4 word phrases
  • Uses pronouns : I, you, me correctly
  • Begins to use some plurals and past tense

3-4 years
  • Has a receptive vocabulary of 1,200-2,000 words or more
  • Follows 2-3 step directions
  • Knows names of familiar animals
  • Knows one or more colours
  • Understands opposites (e.g., stop-go)
  • Starts to understand past v s. now
  • Speech is 80% intelligible
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 800-1,500 words or more
  • Uses at least four prepositions
  • Produces 4-5 word sentences
  • Uses –am, are, is in sentences
  • Uses regular plurals, possessives and simple past tense verbs consistently
  • Uses some regular plurals, contractions, conjunctions , and future tense verbs
  •  Follows instructions in a group setting

4-5 years
  • Has a receptive vocabulary of 10,000 words or more
  • Understands more special concepts
  • Understands short stories and can answer simple questions about them
  • Follows 3-step commands
  • Speech is intelligible to most strangers
  • Counts to ten by rote
  • Uses more descriptive words
  • States function of common objects
  • Produces 4-6 word sentences
  • Relates experiences at preschool, school, etc.

5-6 years
  • Has a receptive vocabulary of 13,000 words or more
  • Uses past and future tense appropriately
  • Uses conjunctions
  • Produces 5-7 word sentences
  • Uses more details in sentences
  • Retells a story
  • Counts to 30 by rote
  • Names days of the week
  • Asks “how” questions
  • Asks “how” questions

6-7 years
  • Has a receptive language of 20,000 words or more
  • Understands most concepts of time ( e.g., before, after)
  • Understands left  and right
  • Counts to 100 by rote
  • Understands terms such as: alike, different, beginning, end.
  • Is competent with simple reading and writing

Worried about your child’s speech?

Kids First Children’s Services in Sydney’s Northern Beaches has a team of health professionals who can help. Our paediatric Speech Pathologists are experienced in the support of children aged 0-12 and they can help your child too. Call us on (02) 9938 5419 or contact us on-line here to make an appointment with a member of our team
Call Kids First now

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