Early Years Education
Talk To Your Baby
Talking to your baby & young children helps them become good communicators, which is essential if they are to do well at school and lead happy, fulfilled and successful lives.
Talking and listening helps them develop good language and communication skills, which enables them to express themselves, listen, learn, read, write and socialise better. It also helps children feel valued, builds their confidence and helps parents and children to bond.
Too many children in the UK are entering nursery and school with inadequate language and communication skills. Some of these children, an average of two in every classroom, will have specific speech or language impairments that will need professional help.
Many others, however, may not have had enough opportunities to develop their communication skills as babies and toddlers. They can remain at a disadvantage compared with those who grow up in language-rich homes.
Recent research has found increasingly high levels of speech, language and communication impairment among young children.It is unlikely that parents and carers are wilfully not talking to young children – perhaps they don’t know that they should, or they need reminding. We need to stop praising children who are quiet as ‘good’. Communication is the building block to everything in our lives, therefore we need to shift cultural expectations so that children are seen and heard.
We need to understand what the barriers might be to language-rich early years in the home, then we can plan to make things change. Communicating is a pleasure for both adult and child.
Schools and early years providers have to follow a structure of learning, development and care for children from birth to five years old. This is called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and it enables your child to learn through a range of activities.
Learning with your under five child
You are your child’s first teacher and understand them better than anyone else. By talking to them, playing with them and introducing simple skills you can help them in their future development.
Talking and listening to your child
The quickest development of your child’s brain takes place between their birth and the age of two. Your child continues to learn and develop rapidly during the important early years of their life.
By building a few simple learning games into your child’s daily routines and helping them investigate their environment, you can help give them the best possible start to their education.
You help your child to learn by giving them opportunities to:
- look at interesting things, in the garden or in the home
- touch a variety of objects
- listen to a range of sounds like songs, rhymes, stories, music
- taste a range of flavours
- investigate things that open, close, float, sink, twist, turn
- explore objects like large boxes, things that make noises and things that move
- play for uninterrupted periods, alone or with others, with help from adults, and in their own way talk to other children and adults
Everywhere you go with your child you have a chance to read together. Whether it’s on the bus, in shops or at the post office, you can point out the words around you and that’s the beginning of reading. Reading stories with your child, even if for just 10 minutes a day, will help to build important skills, as well as capture your child’s interest in books.
Learning about numbers and shapes
Counting things and noticing shapes come naturally to children, so you can use your child’s interest in these activities to help with maths. Maths skills can be developed through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. Even helping in everyday tasks like telling time or measuring ingredients for cooking, gives children the chance to learn new maths skills.
For more information:
We have an Increasing Wellbeing and Inclusion in Early Years Settings course.