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Activities to encourage speech, language and communication

Birth to 2 years:

  • Encourage the child making sounds such as ‘da’ ‘ba’ ‘ma’
  • Maintain eye contact with the child, imitate their sounds, laughter and facial expressions
  • Talk to the child during feeding, bathing and dressing. Tell the child what you are doing, where you going and who you will see.
  • Teach your child to imitate your actions such as waving bye, blowing kisses and when playing games for example, peek a boo or itsy-bitsy-spider.
  • Introduce animal sounds
  • Read to the child
  • Name the colours
  • Count

2 to 4 years

  • Use clear and simple speech
  • Repeat what your child said indicating you understood. Expand on what they said.
  • Sing simple songs and read nursery rhymes and books
  • Make a scrapbook of favourite and familiar things by cutting out pictures. Group them into categories, such as things to ride on, things to eat, things for dessert, fruits, things to play with. Count items pictured in the book.
  • Ask your child questions such as ‘are you a boy?’ ‘what colour is the grass’
  • Expands the child’s vocabulary. Name body parts, fruits, vegetable etc

4 to 6 years

  • Give your full attention when the child is speaking
  • Ensure the child has your attention before you speak
  • Acknowledge and praise the attempts to speak
  • Continue to expand their vocabulary and use the word in a simple context

Take advantage of daily activities. For example, while in the kitchen, encourage your child to name the utensils needed. Discuss the foods on the menu, their colour, texture, and taste. Which foods do you like? Which do you dislike? Who will clean up?

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