EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue: Developing Basic Questioning Skills in Young Children #TheLearningJourney

Developing Basic Questioning Skills in Young Children #TheLearningJourney

Understanding and answering basic questions is an important skill for language development, social skills, information collection, reading comprehension, and more. You may hear teachers and therapists refer to some of these basic questions as 'wh-' questions: who, what, when, where, and why. Modeling and practice are critical and it's never to early to start introducing these concepts to your toddlers and preschoolers through play-based activities! One of our favorite sets that we are highlighting this week is the Match It! Match My Ride puzzle card set from The Learning Journey.  

The Importance of 'Wh-' Questions
Questioning skills are considered foundational skills because they are the gateway to participating in conversations, they allow us to gather and share information, and they play an important role in our reading comprehension. Children typically begin learning how to answer 'What' questions first (e.g., 'What's this?' or 'What do you want?'), followed by 'who' and 'where' questions. 'When' and 'why' are usually the last 'wh-' questions mastered and they can be quite tricky. It's recommended that you teach one 'wh-' concept at a time, allowing kids to master it before moving to the next. Using books, picture cards, and games with visuals are easy ways to provide support while targeting these goals. 

Match It! Match My Ride
This card set offers so many easy opportunities to practice 'what' and 'who' questions. The  Learning Journey recommends it for ages 3-6 years old, but I regularly use it with some of my 2-year-olds with success as well.
  • What Questions: One way to use this set is to lay out one person card and three ride cards. Prompt your child by saying something like, 'This is an astronaut. What does the astronaut ride in?' Reinforce the answer by saying, 'Yes! An astronaut rides in a space shuttle.'
  • Who Questions: Use the same strategy in reverse! Place one ride card in front of your child and three person card options. Ask, 'Who rides in a firetruck?' When your little one picks the correct person, reinforce the answer with, 'Yes! A firefighter rides in a firetruck.'

As a general rule, we want to ask our children questions often and model answers as well. Asking questions related to their day (Who did you play with? What did you eat? Where did you go?) and during story time (Who is this? What is the girl doing? Where is the horse? When will he wake up? etc.) are easy ways for promote daily practice.

Looking for another way to utilize 'Wh-' questions during play-based activities?
Puzzle scenes are an easy way to work on question and answer skills while promoting problem solving and motor skills at the same time. Any puzzle scenes will do, but we especially like the new Animal Friends Puzzle Growth Chart because it offers easy opportunities for explicit questioning and allows you to introduce 'How?' as you measure your child, toys, or any other items around the house. After the puzzle is complete, direct your child to lay next to it to ask 'How tall are you?'. It's a fun way to get those math concepts in as well! We enjoyed measuring our dolls by asking, 'How tall is bear?', 'How tall is Baby?'. This puzzle measures 48” x 17” and is recommended for ages 3-6. In my experience, it's been a hit with kids as young as two and as old as eight.

Where to Purchase
Head over to The Learning Journey to check these sets out for yourself and browse the rest of their collection as well. Look for The Learning Journey learning toys and games at brick and mortar stores like Walmart, or online via

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Disclaimer: The products in this post were provided by The Learning Journey. As always, our posts are our own, honest opinions.