Supporting Your Child’s Language Development

Your child’s vocabulary at age 5 is now thought to be an indicator of how well your child will achieve academically. Supporting children’s language development is recognised as being of huge importance from a child’s earliest days and is one of the prime areas in the revised Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS).

Here are some practical ways in which you can support your child’s language development at home.

Find time to ‘talk’ with your baby

It is important to talk and interact with your baby from birth. Try and find some uninterrupted quiet time with your baby, make eye contact with them and respond to their babbles. Talking to babies helps their brains prepare for language learning.

Activities to support children’s language development

There are many activities you can do at home to support and develop your child’s language skills. Here are a few examples:

  • Using rhymes:
    This is a fun way of engaging your child. It encourages them to listen and join in, repeating words and actions. You can sing together anywhere, at nappy changing time, bath time or in the car!
  • Sharing stories:
    Young children often enjoy stories. Sharing stories encourages children to listen but also provides opportunities for them to ask questions about the story. You could also ask them questions in return which encourages your child to think and respond appropriately.
  • Playing games:
    Games like peek-a-boo can encourage your child to become an active listener and maintain attention, which are important skills in language development.
  • Spend time together:
    This encourages your child to tell you what they are doing and listen to others, taking turns in conversation. Spending quality time together will provide you with the opportunity to introduce new words to your child’s ever increasing vocabulary.

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