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Speech and Communication

Everyday activities that boost language skills

Simple, everyday activities are brilliant for encouraging your child’s speech and communication skills, writes children’s communication charity I CAN.

Helping your little one to get talking is hugely important – but you don’t need special toys or extra time in the day: it’s always good to talk!

Snack time

Giving choices instead of asking yes/no questions encourages your children to try new words. Try swapping “Would you like a banana?” for “Would you like raisins or a banana?” and see what they say!

While walking

Could you turn your daily stroll into a listening walk? Have a really good listen to what you can hear as you walk to the park or the shops – is it a loud noise or a quiet noise? Is it an animal or a car? Copying the noises can be great fun, too.

Shared time

While you’re watching a film together, if you ask questions like “Did you like the film?” you’ll probably get a one-word answer! Try explaining “I really liked the bit where …” or “I thought it was really exciting when …” to encourage them to tell you what they enjoyed.

Fun chores

Tasks like sorting washing are great for encouraging language skills: let your child help you sort items by colour or name. Then help them build simple sentences from single words: repeat back the word they use and add another word – so ‘socks’ could become “Daddy’s socks” or “Jessie’s socks”.

A row of different sizes socks on a chair

Once you start looking, you’ll find tons of opportunities to practice talking and making sounds together. Here’s some ideas –  Everyday activities that boost language skills.

Want more advice or support?

You can talk via online chat to our family support workers and get advice specific to your situation and your family.

Visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk/talk

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