Everything you and your child or the children in your care do together can be an opportunity for language development. Asking a lot of open ended questions creates wonderful opportunities for conversation. For example, ‘What do you think will happen if you leave the bath tap on?’ or ‘What did you play with at playschool today?’. Follow the child’s lead whenever you can, and, encourage them to express opinions and make decisions. Involve them in choosing their outfits for the day ahead and talk about what clothes to wear and why. Do puzzles together and talk out loud as you workout where the pieces go. Show children photos of a family outing and see if they can retell the day’s events. Before learning to read, children need to have a good basic vocabulary. They can only understand words they see in print if they have already come across them in speech. You can introduce new words naturally by playing games, making things, going on outings or reading books together.
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