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Just keep talking

Language development in children is amazing, and it’s a development that many parents really look forward to. The secret to helping children learn language is very simple: talk together lots and listen lots:

  • Talking with babies from birth builds language and communication skills.
  • You can talk with your child anywhere, anytime, about anything!
  • Help your child learn about conversation by pausing and giving your child time to respond.
  • Reading, singing songs and using rhyme are good for children’s language.

Tips for sharing language at home

Talk

Talk about everyday things together, and get your child talking to you. Showing interest in and asking questions about what children are doing encourages them to try new words. Your little one learns best from you - make sure they can see your face when you’re talking. Talk about things that have a regular sequence to them, for example getting dressed, making toast or getting ready for bed.

Play Simon says

Everyone takes a turn being Simon and gets to decide on an action. Simon says, everyone skipping, jumping or hopping. This active game lets children link words to action.

Share photos

Looking at photos with your little one is a great way to snuggle up and share stories about your child’s world. You’ll be amazed at how many conversations can come out of the everyday moments you capture with your phone.

Take turns

Take turns when talking with your little one - wait for them to respond even if they can’t talk yet. Chit-chat is a valuable experience for both of you. A simple conversation every day can help them develop language and communication skills. With older children, ask questions that can’t be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Remember to give plenty of time to respond. Children need time to process and deliver an answer.

Go on a trip to the shops

A simple trip to the local supermarket can be a wonderful opportunity for you to talk with your child and introduce some new words while you shop.

Sing a nursery rhyme

Your child is taking in all the sounds and is making sense of them bit by bit. They’re absorbing all of this information from lots of cues, including the sounds you make, your expressions and facial movements, and the actions that go with it.

Slow down

Did you know that slowing right down and repeating the things you say can be just as important as how often you do it? It’s easier and quicker for little ones to learn when you slow right down and repeat again. Little steps like these are all important in the pathway to learning language.

Read together

Regular reading with your child creates a special time for bonding. It also stimulates your child’s imagination and helps them learn about the world around them.

Repeating stories

Repeating stories over and over is another fantastic way to get young children involved. The more familiar your child is with the story, the louder they get and the more likely they are to join in, creating lots of opportunities for learning.

It’s a good time to remember that conversations with your child work towards building lasting connections in their brain. Your child is never too young to benefit from hearing you talk.

Books

Reserve these physical items and collect from your local library:

View the help guide for reserving items. Libraries will alert you when an item is ready for collection. If you are not member, join online.

Picture Books

Wordless picture books

Tell a story just using the pictures in a book - you don’t need to read the words.

Picture books with the best words

Expose your little one to lots of rich language:

Interactive Picture Books

Give your child opportunities to be involved in book sharing – turn the pages, make noises, lift flaps, predict what is going to happen.

eBooks

Libraries love these eBooks:

Borrow up to 30 eBooks on your device. To get started download the ePlatform by Wheelers, RBDigital and Libby apps. Select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password. Need help setting up your device for eBooks? Watch this video tutorial.

eAudiobooks

To get started, download the BorrowBox, Libby, and RBDigital apps, select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password. Need help setting up your device for eAudiobooks? Watch this video tutorial.

Podcasts

On the web

  • Download the SPEAK app for lots of fun, free activities, ideas and information for parents and carers to support and nurture language development in children from 0 to 6 years of age.
  • Speech Pathology Australia provide information for parents and carers about communication milestones in children and great booklists from the Annual Speech Pathology Book Awards.
  • Little moments matter. Make the most of your child’s first five years with First 5 Forever.
  • Head over to the Raising children network for a wealth of great information including this great video on telling stories with children.
  • Talking Together; a place where parents can find reliable information on early speech and language development from birth to five years.
  • Visit Kids on the Coast for great articles and features.

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