Fun with “WH” Questions for School Readiness

During an imagination activity, Sam demonstrates that he can accurately answer “what, where, how” questions with an answer that fits perfectly, like a puzzle piece, with the question at hand. For example, when I ask a “how” question, he responds with an answer that explains “how.” He even uses his logic to respond when I asked why he didn’t use his cape to fly to Mars (Clearly, he thought my question was quite ridiculous. I guess I hadn’t had enough coffee yet because I wasn’t fully “with it” as far as he was concerned!).

Accurately responding to “WH” questions (i.e., who, what, where, when, why, how) is an important school readiness skill that develops from about 18 months. Prior to that age, infants and toddlers respond to “yes/no” questions (e.g., Do you want more milk? Is this a cow? Are the boys running?), which is an important first step to being able to answer “WH” questions. The first “WH” questions a child can answer are “who,” “what,” and “where” questions. A child begins responding correctly to later-developing “WH” questions (i.e., when, why, how) by about the age of 3. Successfully responding to these questions leads directly to success in pre-school and kindergarten in terms of developing appropriate relationships, early reading and writing skills, and countless other skills.


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