Play and language

Lots of the games you play together and the chats you have will already be developing your child’s communication - here are some top tips to help things along:

  • Give your child one toy that makes a sound at a time
  • Copy what your child does and the sounds they make
  • Use your child’s name to attract their attention
  • Notice what’s caught their attention and talk about it using simple, descriptive language
  • Share books together – your baby or child will love to hear your voice, even if they don’t understand the words
  • Enjoy lots of play, making noises with different objects and musical instruments
  • Try out your best animal noises with pictures of animals – they’re easy for babies and young children to tune into and are easier to repeat than words

Young children often enjoy repetitive play, because it allows them to build on what they know and to make connections. By playing with your child you will be helping them to learn about communicating, and to develop important language skills.

Here are some ideas of play that you and your child can enjoy together, to support their learning and development. Remember, the most important thing is that you’re having fun together as a family.

1-2 years

  • Making a house of out a box or a draped blanket
  • Making noises with saucepans, pots and pans
  • Pretend games e.g. putting teddy to bed, having a cup of tea
  • Going on walks and chatting about the world around
  • Painting and drawing
  • Playing with bubbles
  • Visiting the library to borrow books and hear stories

2-3 years

  • Following your child’s lead – joining in with their play
  • Obstacle courses
  • Dressing up
  • Role play games, such as shops or playing with dolls
  • Actively playing and interacting with other children
  • Puzzles and simple games

Why not jot down some of the ideas that you think you and your child might enjoy?

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