Supporting Speech, Language & Communication

Sharing Books

Sharing books together is another great way to support a child’s language development.  Your local library offers access to a fantastic range of free books for under-fives and offers a range of activities for children.


Try hiding a noisy object in the room, such as a phone playing music or a noisy toy.  Can your child find it?  This is a great way to develop listening skills.


At meal or drink times, don’t automatically give your child everything they need.  Wait for them to ask for what they want.  You can also pretend to make a mistake, by giving them the wrong thing, such as a spoon instead of a cup, so they can tell you it’s wrong!


Play pretend shopping by using everyday items from your kitchen cupboards, that your child will recognise, such as an apple, a packet of cereal, a small tin of beans and a carrot (four to five items is enough to start with).  Put them on a low table, which has now become ‘the shop’.  Give your child a fabric bag, ask them to go to the shop and “buy me a carrot”.  Begin by only asking for one item and if this goes well, you can then ask for two or maybe three items next time!

When you are outside, you can play ‘run and touch’.  For example, say “run and touch the tree” or “run and touch the swing”.  Start with naming one thing and if this goes well, you can add another place, so “run and touch the tree and then the swing”.

Social Skills

You can also give your child a role in family routines, even if it’s only a small one, such as helping to wash fruit or vegetables, get cutlery out at mealtimes, take things to the kitchen after meals or put their shoes away. If they need help to complete their tasks, always encourage them to ask, rather than stepping in too soon.