Top Tips and Ideas
Make lots of opportunities to communicate
- Make lots of opportunities to communicate by using language alongside everyday routines. Talk about what’s happening and what you can see. Involve other children if possible. Follow their interests by playing alongside and commenting on what you are both doing rather than asking lots of questions.
- Set up a daily language group and focus on developing listening and attention skills through fun games.
- Have fun with nursery rhymes and songs, especially those with actions, and encourage them to listen to and imitate different sounds (like animals and cars). Make funny noises for them to copy.
- Gain their attention by getting down to their level and saying their name. Speak in short, simple sentences that will be easier for them to understand and copy.
- Use visual cues such as gestures, photos, facial expressions and signs to help them to understand and to make themselves understood.
- “juice or milk?” This will encourage them to respond with a word rather than a simple “yes” or “no”. If they point at the object, say the first sound of the word and this may lead them to say the rest.
- Wait and give them time to process what you have said and listen carefully, giving time for them to finish.
- Help them to use more words by adding to what is said. If they say “ball”, you might say “yes, red ball”.
- If they say something incorrectly, say it back the right way, for example, the child says: “goggy bit it”; and you say: “Yes, the dog bit it, didn’t he?”
- If a speech therapist works with a child, parents and childcarers can use the reports to ensure everyone is working together towards the speech therapist’s targets.