Any time is talking time: top tips for making the most of everyday opportunities for communication

Posted by I CAN / Tuesday 12 July 2016 / Parenting Tips Speech and Communication
Father and daughter playing

Learning to talk is the most important skills a child needs to develop; after all, it impacts on absolutely everything so says the team at I CAN

There’s really not very much in life that doesn’t require you to understand or use language. It’s well researched that language is absolutely crucial for learning, reading and making friendships.

So, helping your little ones to get talking is hugely important. But, this doesn’t mean we need to set aside special time in the day to ‘teach’ talking – any time is talking time!

Try these tips for building communication into everyday activities:

boy walking along wall

1. Use snack time to teach new words.

Instead of asking ‘would you like a banana?’ why not try giving some choices; it’s a great way to encourage your child to try a new word. Ask them “would you like raisins or a banana?” and see what they say!

2. Why not turn an everyday walk into a ‘Listening Walk’?

Have a really good listen to what you can hear as you stroll to the park or the shops – is it a loud noise, a quiet noise?

Is it an animal or a type of vehicle? Can you copy the noise? There’s always so much to talk about...!

Father and daughter at play

3. Comment on what your child is doing, as well as asking questions.

So, if they are watching a film don’t ask “did you like the film?”, as you may only get the answer “yes”. Instead, say something like “I really liked the bit in the film when the girl found her dog”.... and before you know it your child will be telling you all about the bits they liked!

4. Make chores fun.

Use tasks like sorting the washing to help your child’s language skills come along. You can sort things by colours and name them and help your child to build sentences from single words so that ‘socks’ becomes ‘daddy’s socks’ or ‘Jessie’s socks’. Remember to repeat back what they say and add a word!

If you’d like more ideas for helping your child’s talking to come along, you can talk to a speech and language therapist from the I CAN Help service. It’s a free phone or Skype call service; why not get in touch and see what else you can be doing?

Happy chatting!

I CAN is the children’s communication charity. They are experts in helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills they need to thrive in a 21st century world. www.ican.org.uk

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