Time to talk!


As your baby starts to grow and develop, one of the most renowned milestones they can achieve is their first word. Learning to talk takes a long time. Your child won’t be able to form two-word or three-word sentences until they’re well into their second year, or even later. But you can help the process from day one.

Talking tips:

  • Start looking at books with your baby from an early age. You don’t have to read the words, just talk to your little one about what you can see.
  • Introduce fabric and board books. Describe what you are looking at and make any accompanying sounds, such as “baa” if you are looking at a picture of a sheep. From six months, your baby will start to engage with this.
  • If you start to repeat the sounds your baby makes back to them, your baby will learn to copy you.
  • Use short, simple sentences. Once your little one starts talking, use sentences that are one or two words longer than their own.
  • Playing games where you have to take turns, for example Round and Round the Garden, will also help their language to develop.
  • If your child is trying to say a word but gets it wrong, repeat the word properly. For example, if they point to a cat and say ‘Ca!’ say, ‘Yes, it’s a cat.’ Don’t tell them off for getting the word wrong.

All children learn and develop at different paces, although the stages that children pass through development of speech and language are very consistent, the exact age when they hit these milestones varies a lot. The more babies experience conversation and language, the more effective and confident they become in their own communication.

Tops Boscombe will soon be working alongside Boscombe’s Children Centre to provide communication & language learning opportunities for children with the new ‘Narrative’ Programme. The Narrative Programme mirrors the development of narrative skills in children from raising awareness of the individual components of a simple story, to retelling and then generating their own ideas for stories. The sessions, while structured, will be flexible and play based to support children’s learning in the Early Years. The Narrative programme will consist of 5 x 20 minute sessions which children can take part in during the daily timetable. The sessions are practical with a variety of activities, rhymes and songs.

Supporting children in their early years is key to their speech, language and communication development, which will have a massive impact on their skills in later life. SENCO representatives at Tops Bournemouth, Tops Boscombe and Tops Charminster have been attending workshops run by the Bournemouth Early Years team called ‘come talk with me’, which is a programme introduced to encourage parents and practitioners to work together to help young children with these three key areas.

Each childcare setting, children’s centre and library has a ‘Communication Champion’, whose role is to promote the development of good practice in speech, language and communication from inside their setting.

To find your local Tops Day Nursery, please click here

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