Some children are quick to learn how to talk. Others take a little longer. There are plenty of ways you can help your little one pick up their words and become clear, confident talkers before they start school.
Things your child should be able to do before they start school
- Show and tell people their needs and feelings
- Speak confidently in sentences
- Make friends with other children
Helpful tips and activities
Things you can do to help them start talking and improve their skills.
- Read books together and sing nursery rhymes
- Visit playgroups regularly and join in the activities
- Get your little one to repeat your sentences – make a game of it
- Help them make up a story about their favourite toy
- Talk about things they did or places they are going – take photos to remind them of their day
- Let children build things together – using cardboard boxes or material and pegs to hold things together. They’ll have to talk to work things out
- Encourage them to talk to you about how they feel
- Check out the I CAN ages and stages poster https://icancharity.org.uk/ages-and-stages
- Have back-and-forth conversations – play word games and get them to name things
Signs to look out for
Things that let you know your child is developing the skills they need.
- Plays in a small group or watches what others are doing and joins in
- Has fewer frustrations/emotional outbursts
- Can tell you when they’re hungry or hurt
- Uses short sentences to ask for something
- Tells you about what they are doing
- Starts asking lots of questions and answering them too
- Pretends about things – like teddy crying, falling over or talking to them
Need more help or advice?
Talk to your Health Visitor, they’ll always be happy to answer your questions. Or if they can’t help, they’ll certainly be able to put you in touch with someone who can.