BENEFITS

Activities support the core aspects of speech and language development. These are strengthened by the way you (parents / carers) play with your child. 

Activities also support the early years foundation stage framework; this guidance must be followed by all early years settings. It highlights three areas as key for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

Research Evidence

Sharing books

There are so many benefits to sharing books with your child:

1. Promotes bonding; babies and children love hearing their parents’ voices, it soothes them. How great to cuddle up with a book?

2. Promotes two-way communication; books give you a shared

    point of interest and allow you both to comment on what

   you’re looking at. Even if you have a young baby; watch their

   focus and pause to allow them to vocalise, you can have a

   ‘conversation’.

3. Provides inspiration; it’s not always easy as an adult to be

    imaginative and creative, books give you ideas and space to

   be silly and let lose. 

4. Books are an easy way to introduce children to new ideas,

    people, animals etc that are not always easily experienced

   face to face. They provide richer language input than general

   conversation. 

5. It is well documented that sharing books with your child

    increases their vocabulary, those that have regularly shared

    books with their parents have bigger vocabularies at age 2. A

    child's vocabulary at school entry predicts later academic

    performance. 

6. Hearing stories is the first step to telling stories, children can

    learn the structure of stories and this develops their literacy

    skills.

7. Most books aimed at young children include rhythm, rhyme

   and repetitive language. This develops children's understanding

   of patterns in language and therefore literacy skills. 

8. Talking about what is happening, what might happen, how

    characters are feeling and why, supports brain development

    and helps children to make sense of and reason about

    situations in their own lives. 

9. The illustrations in books introduce young children to art. 

Adult and child interaction

The biggest influence on language development is gender (girls tend to talk earlier) and other biology we can't control BUT

1. What you do with your child also

   matters. The influence of what you

    do can be seen in children's language at age 2 years. 

2. Being responsive in your play and talk lets your child

    know you are interested in them and builds your

    relationship. 

3. Allowing your child to direct play and using minimal

   prompts (e.g. showing them toys and waiting or asking

   what they would like) helps develop your child's vocabulary.

4. Focusing on, and talking about the same things as your

    child, helps to sustain their attention. You're adding 

    information to their interests. 

5. Responding to your child by 

  • interpreting what your baby / toddler is telling you,

  • modelling words / sentences they could use and the correct way to say it,

  • adding 1-2 words or a new (related) idea

  • using a small amount of responsive questions, directly related to what your child has just said

  is associated with language on formal tests at age 3 years.

6. Using 'toy talk'; talk about the toys our child is playing

    with and importantly, use of the specific word for the toy

    e.g. "The kitten is soft" rather than "It's soft" increases the 

    range of sentences and the grammar used in 2 - 3 year

    olds.

*Reference list coming soon

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EMAIL: HANNAH@FINDYOURVOICESLT.CO.UK 

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