Brighter Futures: helping your 0 to 5 year olds speech and language

The first few years are the most important in your child's learning and development. As a parent or carer, you have the biggest influence during this time, and there are a number of easy and simple ways in which you can help with their early development.

Children who are able to express themselves for when they start school are more likely to reach their developmental and educational milestones. You have all the skills and experience to help your child grow and develop, so that they can have a bright future.

There are five simple things you can do at home that will make a huge impact on your child's development:

Speech and Language Therapist Jack Davies describes the five simple, free and easy things you can do on a daily basis to help your child's speech and language develop.

I will sing with you

Singing not only makes your baby or child happy it improves their vocabulary and memory. It also strengthens the muscles they use for talking. You can join in singing and story time at Rhyme Time sessions at your local library.

I will explore with you

Exploring with your child helps their brain develop and build new memories, it's also great for their speech and language. New experiences at this age don't have to be expensive, popping to the shops, the park or your library together is a great way to keep your child busy and curious. You can find new places to explore on the Explore Surrey's countryside webpages.

I will talk with you

Engaging your child in conversation not only connects them to you but helps them practise their speaking and develops their language. Use our helpful tips and activities to get your child talking.

I will ask you questions

Asking your child a question can often trigger a funny response, but did you know that it helps them build their listening skills as well as practice their talking? Open-ended questions are a great way to get your child to pay attention and think about their answer.

Open-ended questions can start like this:

  • "How did you…?"
  • "Tell me about…?"
  • "How can we…?"

I will read with you

Reading to your child from when they are a baby helps them get used to sounds, words and language. Rhyming books are particularly good for this. There are many books to browse and borrow at your local library, and you can also attend story times too.