Things to do that can help my child / young person with their understanding, talking and communication
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The resources here will help you reach the outcome: "I know what to do to help my baby's communication development."
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Tiny Happy People
Tiny Happy People BBC website provides a wide range of information, ideas and activities for parents to use in daily routines to help develop their baby's communication skills. It includes information about what to expect and when as well as activities and games to play to help speech, language and communication. It includes information, ideas and activities for parents of babies with SEND.
Hungry Little Minds
Short videos demonstrating strategies and ideas for easy, fun games for you to do with your baby. The information is broken down according to the child's age and the suggestions can be used flexibly, in any language, in a way that suits you and your child.
Tiny Happy People activities
Tiny Happy People BBC website provides a wide range of information, ideas and activities for you to use in daily routines to help develop their baby's communication skills. It includes activities and games to play to help speech, language and communication.
Be face to face at the baby's level
Being face to face with babies helps them to listen, concentrate and understand the message you are sharing. It also helps you to see where the baby's focus is and what they are trying to communicate. This simple video produced by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust shows why this is important.
Talk together in daily routines
This leaflet provides information about how you can use everyday activities and routines to talk about what your baby can see and what is happening. Babies learn from activities that happen over and over again. This gives you a chance to use lots of repetition of words. Linking these to daily routines will help to make links between the words you say and what they mean.
Sing songs and rhymes
Singing songs and rhymes together really help your baby's communication skills to grow. Nottinghamshire Language for Life have produced videos for parents and carers that you can see by clicking the playlist on this page. Visit the 'words' page to learn the words to these songs and rhymes
Share books with babies
Sharing books is a great way to help your baby's talking. Making books part of your daily routine really helps to develop shared focus and communication skills. Nottinghamshire Language for Life have produced this information leaflet about book sharing as well as many other top tips leaflets to help understand how to support speech, language and communication.
Switch off and talk
Babies learn from watching the adults around them, switching off devices supports their communication development. This webpage and leaflet provides you with information about why this is important.
Baby Buddy App
Baby Buddy is a free app to support you from bump to baby including information about typical communication development. It automatically sends you personalised, relevant and timely bite-sized updates in "Today's Information"; answers questions; helps with goal setting, signposts support; tracks progress and more.
I CAN How to support your child
This information about how to support your baby forms part of I CAN's guide to the typical stages of speech and language development. Children develop language at different rates and understanding what is typical and what you can do to support your baby can help you give them the best start on their journey to developing communication skills.
Follow the baby's lead
Giving our baby a chance to play with and explore the objects and toys around them gives you the perfect opportunity to follow their lead, see what they are interested in and talk about it. Talking about what your baby is interested in shows them that you value what they are doing and helps them to make links with the words you say.
TCT Universally Speaking 0-5
Universally Speaking is a booklet with information about typical communication skills, including attention and listening and understanding; interactions and speech. Use the booklet to find out whether your baby is on the right track, what helps them learn to talk and listen and what to do if you have concerns about any of their communication abilities.
Peep Communication and Language strand - evidence-based parenting programme for parents and babies together to attend together. There is a focus on bonding, attachment and the quality of the home learning environment as well as a focus on communication and language. You have the opportunity to gain 3 credits towards NOCN Learning Together at home.
Peep Early Literacy Strand - evidence-based parenting programme for parents and children to attend together. There is a focus on bonding, attachment and the quality of the home learning environment as well as a focus on literacy. You have the opportunity to gain 3 credits towards NOCN Learning Together at home.
Use everyday routines
Use everyday routines as times to introduce communication and language learning opportunities to your baby. This leaflet from NHS Ayrshire and Arran gives you ideas for everyday routines that are perfect for learning and includes information about ways to do this.
Labelling and Commenting
Using real word labels and commenting on what your baby is interested in helps them to learn new words. Here NHS Tayside's Rhyming Robin and Chatty and Charlie share information about how to do this as well as many other top tips for learning words.
Copy, repeat, imitate
Copying your baby's sounds and actions shows them you're interested in what they are saying and doing, encourages them to do more and shows them how conversations and communication works. Here NHS Lothian share ideas of what you can do to help your baby's early communication skills.
Greater Manchester 10 Tips for Talking
The Greater Manchester (GM) 10 Tips for Talking are ten key messages to support the development of language and communication skills for babies and young children and can be used by everyone. Each tip is designed to give families and anyone working with children some small suggestions that can make a big difference and help give children the best start. Each message is based on sound research and is delivered by children.
NLT Small Talk
Small Talk helps parents turn the activities they are already doing with their baby every day into new opportunities to build communication skills. It includes a website featuring simple videos, tips and information to help chat, play and read with their baby. The activities include ideas around meal times and other daily routines.
NLT Tips for talking leaflets
The National Literacy Trust provides a wide range of parent-friendly downloadable leaflets outlining tips for talking, why talking to your baby matters and the benefits for their development. The ideas include information for talking in daily routines such as during nappy changing, information for dads and activities to support communication when out and about.
Watch, wait, listen and respond
Watching, waiting, listening and responding is a powerful way that we can help babies develop early communication skills. Waiting for babies to take their turn or share what they are interested in can be difficult when we are busy getting on with life. However it is key to giving babies opportunities to play the communication game. This leaflet and video from the Speech and Language Therapy Service in Greater Glasgow and Clyde outlines why and how to wait and respond. It forms part of a wider series of useful information for parents, carers and professionals.
Slowing down when talking and singing helps babies to tune into the rhythm and the words adults around them are using. Slowing down also gives babies time to think about what they would like to say or do. This is one of a series of videos from Speech and Language Therapists from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust outlining strategies to support speech, language and communication development.
Clickety Books are fun books and resources to share with your baby. They have been developed by speech and language therapists to support communication development of all children as well as those who need a little extra help. They include Early Sound Play resources that are built around stories. Puppets are also available to help with the interactive book-sharing experience!
Learning more than one language
Many children grow up learning more than one language. This information leaflet from NHS Forth Valley provides you with useful information and top tips about what you can do to help your baby on their way to being bilingual.
I CAN Chatter Matters
This series of videos for parents and carers outlines how speech, language and communication skills develop; what families can do to support their baby; how these skills develop over time; children with speech and language needs and how to access information and support.
NLT Bilingual quick tips
The National Literacy Trust has produced a series of bilingual quick tips for parents and practitioners to help children develop good talking and listening skills. There are lots of different languages. Copies can be downloaded and shared with families.
- Say hello to your new baby
- Dummies and talking
- Talk to your baby and child in your own language
- Making the most of television
- Talking with your baby
- Sharing songs and rhymes
- Playing with your baby
The Baby Club
BBC's The Baby Club, is a website featuring songs, rhymes, stories and activities that will give you ideas for playing, singing and sharing with your baby.