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Hungerford Nursery School

Centre for Children and Families

Everybody Matters - Be The Best That You Can Be

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Talking Top Tips

Talking Tips


  • Play together- allow your child to take the lead when you play together, this will keep them motivated and they'll develop crucial thinking and language skills through their play.


  • Limit distractions- Turn off the t.v. and limit background noise so your child fully concentrate on their task.


  • Ditch the dummy- this stops your child talking.


  • O.W.L- Observe, wait and listen before interrupting your child.


  • Get down to your child's level- if you want to engage their attention, get down to their level first before talking to them, that way they can maintain eye contact with you.


  • Think about your non verbal communication- facial expression, body language, gesture and tone of voice are great ways of showing your child that you're interested in what they say.


  • Imitate your child's language- copy their sounds and words as this will show them you're valuing their words and will encourage them to keep on talking.


  • Use simple language- describe your everyday activities (e.g. "I'm washing the cups"), talk slowly and clearly.


  • Build on what your child says to you- Add one or two more words (this is referred to as match plus one), for example your child says, "Look, car", you could say, "Look, red car". By doing this you are repeating back what they have said and modelling new words and sentences.


  • Share books together- One of the best ways to develop your child's language is to share books together. For more information click here. 


  • Enjoy songs and nursery rhymes together- especially ones with lots of actions and repetition. 


  • Use repetition- Children need to hear words several times in different situations before they can understand and use them.


  • Offer your child choices- This will help your child to learn more words, (e.g. "Do you want red socks or blue socks?")


  • Limit your questions- Too many questions can overwhelm your child and can block the flow of natural conversation. The best questions are those that challenge your child to think.


  • Give your child time to respond- Give your child at least 10 seconds to respond to a question, they take longer to process information.


  • Model words rather than criticise- If your child makes an error in a word or sentence, simply say the correct version back rather than pointing out the mistake (e.g. Child: "I runned to the park", Adult: "you ran to the park").


  • Emphasise the correct pronunciation- If your child mis pronounces a word or sentence then repeat it back to them so that they can hear the correct sounds in the words (Child: "tat teep", Adult: "the cat's asleep, your right, the cat is asleep").