Comprehending Picture Labels
  • 2 Minutes to read
  • PDF

Comprehending Picture Labels

  • PDF

Children use pictures to help them understand the words in books as well as verbal interactions that happening during play. When we read a book with our little ones, we tend to point to the objects in pictures and label that object. This targets both labeling and understanding of picture labels.

Today we will be discussing activities that you can do to increase your kiddo’s understanding of picture labels. This is a key factor in laying the foundation for reading readiness, following directions, vocabularly expansion, and overall language comprehension and usage.

When reading to your child, use these simple tips to help them comprehend picture labels.


Choose a book that is repetitive or familiar to your kiddo. After reading the words on a given page, or set of pages, talk about the pictures. Point to the object, label it, and ask a thought-provoking questions. For example, point to a picture of a car, say "car," and then ask "where is the car going?"

Continue to do this while reading together, focusing on 1-2 objects that are consistent throughout the story.


Oftentimes, when we notice our kiddo is struggling to recal an object that we've pointed to, we want to help them out by quickly answering for them. Try to resist this temptation. Be sure to pause after pointing to an object and allow them enough time to process and understand your request. If they haven’t demonstrated movement after 5-10 seconds, or they haven't attempted to point or identify the object you are labeling, simply take their hand and point with them. You can say "that's a car," or "I see a car."


The more we play and engage with our children, the most excited they become about an activity. You can make this interaction similar to a game “peek a boo.”

For example, after saying "where is the car?" you can look around, turn the book over, turn it right side up, wait... and then point to the car and say "There it is! There is the car!" Repeat this a few times and start pausing afterwards to give your child enough time to participate and point to the object.


If the object you chose was one you interact with regularly in real life, be sure to carry over that label and comprehension to other aspects of your life. If it was a car, then point out other cars you see in the neighborhood, in other books, on television, etc. If it was a dog, or house, or tree, the same rules apply. This helps generalize your child's understanding of that object and allows them to use their knowledge in making connections to the real world.

Was this article helpful?