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Basic communication strategies

These ideas will help everyone who’s involved in a child’s life to play a part in developing communication skills. They can be used in all activities, including play, and during daily routines such as dressing and mealtimes.

  • Listen to the child’s noises and words, and repeat them back.
  • Give the child time to process what you’ve said and respond.
  • Let the child lead play, and give them choices wherever possible.
  • Mirror what the child is doing – this encourages you to follow their lead rather than be too directive.
  • Make comments instead of asking the child too many questions.
  • Keep your language simple and repetitive to give the child lots of experience of important words and phrases.
  • Remember that communication is more than just the words. Use body language, facial expression, gestures and signs, and respond when the child uses these.
  • Get down at the child’s level and talk face to face.

The Department of Education has created a resource called Hungry Little Minds to help support parents and carers with tips to encourage speech, language and development in age appropriate stages.

Our team run online workshops on early language development. They are designed for parents and carers and those working within early years settings. We have three training sessions available on different topics to equip you with everyday strategies to support your child, aged up to five. Find out more information and how to register here.