Top tips

These top tips for talking to young children are designed to be used with the discussion ideas for different places such as the park, the woods and the shops.

Top tips

Get your child's attention- make sure they are listening.

Say their name first, get down to their level to check they are looking and listening.

Give children time to respond.

Make eye contact to show that you are listening, nod and smile.

Count to 10 before adding another statement or answering for them.

Build on what children say.

Listen attentively to what your child is saying. Expand or add to what your child is saying.

Follow children’s interests.

Notice what your child is curious about and talk about these interests.

Get down to the child's level.

Give your child your undivided attention and show them you are listening.

Show interest in what your child has to say.

Make eye contact and remember not to interrupt when your child is speaking.

Praise your child for attempting to say new words.

Notice and comment on interesting words your child uses.

Use facial expressions to convey meaning.

Communication isn't always verbal, use facial expressions and body language too.

Spend time talking to your child.

Plan moments into the day to talk to your child for example travelling times.

Use comments and prompts to keep conversations going.

Use statements such as 'I wonder…' and 'That's interesting…' rather than asking more questions.

Explore new words together.

Have fun with new words, don't be afraid to introduce longer, complex words.

Enjoy conversations with your child.

Show your child that you value conversations and time to talk with them. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy these moments together.

Top tip cards

You can download the above tips as documents to save or print.

If your child goes to childcare, their childcare provider might print these cards for you.