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The importance of communication for your child's development

Jan 07, 2016

The importance of communication for your child's development 

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. just listen. perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.... a loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.


Children learn a lot from observing and listening to the people around them. As parents and carers you are your child’s first teachers. You have a powerful influence on your child’s early learning.

From a very early age your child will need to experience a wide range of activities and experiences with you to develop their early reading and writing skills, for example, singing and saying rhymes, making and listening to music, listening to them and joining in conversations, painting and pretend play. These activities will help your child take the first important steps towards reading and writing.

From a very early stage, children develop an awareness of the different sounds in our spoken language. They learn to use their voices to make contact with you and to let people know what they need and how they are feeling. As parents and carers you best understand your baby or young child’s communications; you are key people in helping them develop their speaking and listening skills.

Children need lots of opportunities to talk with others as they develop and practise these skills. This helps to build their confidence and improves their ability to communicate with other people. This is a really important part of learning to socialise and will help your child feel confident when making friends.

In order to make a good start to reading and writing, children need to be listened to and talked with.

Everyday activities such as preparing meals, tidying up, putting shopping away and getting ready to go out, offer you the chance to talk to your child, explaining what you are doing. They hear the way language is put together into sentences for a purpose.

Books are also a rich source of new words for your child – words you would not use in everyday conversations appear in books. Children need to have a wide stock of words (vocabulary) to understand the meaning of books – so read aloud and share books as often as you can. They will enjoy it and it will be so useful to them when they come across these words in their own reading, later on.


Ways you can support your children at home:

Make time to listen to your child talking As you

meet them from their setting or school, as you walk or

travel home by car, in the supermarket as you shop, at

meal times, bath times, bedtimes – anytime!

Switch off the TV, radio and mobile phones

really listen!

Show them you are interested in what s/he is

talking about Look at your child, smile, nod your

head, ask a question or make a response to show that

you really have been listening.

Make a collection of different toy creatures e.g. a

duck, a snake, an alien say the sound it might make as

you play together e.g. quack-quack, ssssssss, yuk-yukencourage

your child to copy you.

Listen at home – switch off the TV and listen to the

sounds both inside and outside home – can your child

tell you what s/he heard, in the order in which s/he

heard it?

Play-a-tune and follow me! Make or buy some

simple shakers, drums and

beaters – play a simple tune

and ask your child to copy.

Have fun!

Use puppets and toys

to make up stories or retell

known ones. Record

your child telling

the story and

playback to them.


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