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Chat, Play, Read - Everyday ways you’re already boosting your little one’s language skills

Did you know? The best ways to encourage your baby or toddler’s language development are also the simplest!

Most activities you already do with your child around the home or out and about are fantastic for developing talking and listening skills. As long as you remember to chat, play and read with your little one during the day, you’re doing a great job!

Here are a few examples of how your everyday activities can benefit your little one: 

Children and families - mother and toddler playing on floor

1.Going to the shops

A trip to the supermarket is the perfect opportunity to talk about different foods with your child. Try talking to them about the items you’re putting in the trolley. You could even ask them to try holding an item to help them relate the look and feel of the object to the sound of the word.

2.Nappy changes

Nappy changes can feel like a chore, but for your baby, it’s a time when they get your full, undivided attention. You could make it more fun by singing a nursery rhyme, or talking about what you’re doing – for example, “Now we’re getting out some wipes” or “Now we’re putting on some cream”. You could even spend the time pulling silly faces – it all helps form connections in your child’s brain!

3. On the bus

Look out of the window together and name what you can see – trees, cars, bikes and more! Pay attention to what your child takes an interest in – it could be vehicles, animals, people or something else – and point them out when you see them. When you follow your child’s interests, they’re more likely to learn new words and gain new skills.

4. Putting out the washing

Whether you’re hanging the laundry on the line, putting it on an airer or folding it up to put away, this is an activity that many toddlers like to ‘help’ with! You can let your little one rummage through the clean washing, see what they pull out, and name the item of clothing. If they say something like “sock”, you could build on it by saying, “Yes, it’s Mummy’s sock”. This adds to their understanding of how words work in sentence.

5. Bedtime stories

Regularly reading stories to your child is so important for developing your child’s language skills. Most small children will go through phases of wanting to read a particular book over and over again – this may feel boring to you, but it’s brilliant for your child! Studies show that repetition is key to cementing new information into your little one’s brain. And if you need a bit more variety – why not let your little one choose a book from your local library

If you’re at all worried about your toddler’s speech and language development, support is available at your nearest Family Hub

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