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Speech and Language

  • Singing nursery rhymes together can be great fun. It can help to develop your child’s attention and listening skills as well as learning new words. If you sit your child on your lap this can be really helpful with developing eye contact and noticing different facial expressions. Include actions as you sing – the more times you sing and use the gestures, the more likely your child will be to copy these. Try missing a word off at the end of a familiar rhyme, can your child add it in? Here are some ideas for actions songs to try: (link to action rhymes)
  • Lots of children can have fun making funny sounds and using these within their play. This can be a great activity to play with your child if they are not yet saying any words. Sit your child on your lap so that he/ she can see your face and make it fun. Click on the link for some ideas of where to start: (link to playing with sounds) 
  • Play is such an important skill for children to develop. They will have even more fun if you join in with them. Try and let your child choose what they want to play with. Wait and see how they would like to play with the toy. Join in by copying their play and talking alongside what you and your child are doing. Name the toys they are playing with and describe what you and he/she are doing. See the attached sheet for some ideas of games to play: (link to ideas of games to play)
  • Here are some ideas to practice taking turns. This is a really important skill for your child to develop – first children learn to take turn in play and then they can start to take turns in conversation. See the attached list for ideas to try with your child: (link to taking turns games)
  • Playing memory games is a great way to develop your child’s memory skills. Auditory memory is important because it helps your child to remember what has been said for long enough to understand the words. When playing these games, makes sure your child is sitting calmly and is ready to listen. Try to cut down on background noise so that your child can focus on your words. Make this fun by playing the games attached: (link to auditory memory games)
  • Use every day routines to help develop your child’s vocabulary. Name the things you play with together throughout the day eg ‘bubbles’, ‘car’, ‘puzzle’. Name items you use throughout the daily routine eg ‘spoon’, ‘cup’, ‘chair’. When it’s bath-time or getting dressed time, name body parts and clothes eg ‘hands’, ‘face’, ‘jumper’. Action words are really important too, name the different actions as you do them with your child eg ‘we’re walking’, ‘you’re eating’, ‘washing’, ‘jumping’. See the attached sheet for some games to play to develop vocabulary skills: (link to naming skills) 
  • When your child is using single words, help them to start using 2 words together by adding one word on to what they are saying and repeating it back eg your child says ‘bubbles’, you say ‘more bubbles’, your child says ‘feet’, you say ‘wash feet’. (link to using 2 words together)
  • If your child is now using lots of single words, play the games attached to help them start putting two words together: (link to encourage 2 words together)
  • To work on supporting your child to understand language you use at home, have a look at this advice (link to supporting understanding)
  • For working on vocabulary learning for older children (Year 1-6), you can use word webs (link to 'Games to help children with word finding' and 'Cloud word web'
Other useful websites and apps:
Spilgo apps for developing language 
Symbotalk app for using symbols
MyChoice pad app for learning Makaton or Makaton website
Speech with Milo apps for language and speech
WH questions app (super duper) for answering questions
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