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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET classroom activities. Here is a list of STEM con­ cept words that can easily be incorporated into your everyday conversations and engagement with infants, toddlers, and twos: over slide size under push shape around fast form through slow up force measure­ ment down sink height in float weight out texture heavy between rough light together smooth balance move slippery absorption roll sticky reflection Children are naturally curious. “Why?” is the question that dominates the language of children two to three years of age. Because they are nat­ urally curious, they want to know the names of objects and how they work. For example, a child observes a caterpillar crawling on the grass. With a curious look on her face, the toddler points to the caterpillar. Her caregiver might say, “Veron­ ica, I see you found a caterpillar. Look at it crawl­ ing slowly across the grass.” The caregiver might extend the conversation and STEM learning by saying, “The caterpillar eats leaves. Let’s watch his legs move.” In this example, a young toddler may be just watching and observing the caterpillar. This would be developmentally appropriate for a child this age. But an older toddler or three-​year-​ old with more expressive language skills may ask the caregiver a series of Why questions: “Why does it crawl?” or “Why does it eat leaves?” Each explanation from a caregiver may be followed by another “Why?” Responsive caregivers provide many opportunities to support children’s natural curiosity. They help answer their questions, build vocabulary, and teach them additional STEM con­ cept words. Further, as their vocabulary increases, chil­ dren begin connecting words together in two-​ word phrases. Through language-​rich activities, HOW INFANTS, TODDLERS, AND TWOS LEARN  COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 13