Helping your toddler to develop communication and language

Listening and attention
☺ Encourage your toddler to explore and imitate sound
☺ Talk about different sounds you hear when you share books together e.g. ‘brmm’ and ‘moo!’
☺ Encourage repetition, rhythm and rhyme by using different voices as you share stories and rhymes
☺ If you are speaking another language at home, share favourite stories and rhymes from your home language
☺ Try to plan a time for when you can sit and sing with your toddler, and encourage them to join in with you
☺ Listen to noises as you walk along the street or in the park and talk to your toddler about them e.g. “I can hear a plane. Can you hear it?” etc
☺ Try to keep background noise [e.g. TV and radio] to a minimum when you are talking to your toddler


☺ Enjoy lots of ‘pretend play’ together such as putting a baby to bed or making dinner
☺ Use pictures, photos and real objects and use gestures alongside your words to give your toddler as many cues as possible
☺ Be aware that your toddler will understand more than he/she can say at the moment, and this might cause a bit of frustration
☺ Use ‘talk’ to describe what your toddler is doing, by providing a little ‘commentary’ e.g. “You are throwing the ball to mummy”, “You are pouring the water into the funnel” etc
☺ Give your toddler time to tell you and their little friends what they can hear, see and feel
☺ Make the most of everyday activities such as cooking and shopping for talk time e.g. “We need some eggs. Let’s see if we can find some” etc
☺ Praise all efforts at communicating, especially when your toddler has mastered a new word or concept


☺ Help to build your child’s vocabulary by giving choices e.g. “Apple or Satsuma?”
☺ Expand your toddler’s talking by repeating what they have said and adding a new word, so if s/he says ‘car’, you can say ‘red car’ etc
☺ Accept your toddler’s words but repeat back to them what they have said with the correct sounds so that s/he begins to hear them. Never correct your toddler, as this will often set his/her confidence back in talking
☺ If you are speaking more than one language with your toddler, continue to use your home language, even if your toddler begins to use English words
☺ Read stories with repetitive phrases so that your toddler can easily join in with you as you are reading
☺ Praise all efforts at communicating

Newtown School