Useful Links to support your child at home
Walk and Talk Campaign- Supporting children’s communication and language.
Walk and Talk is about inspiring families to go outside and communicate with each other.
Talking to young children during everyday activities can help them learn communication skills such as:
- turn taking in a conversation
- learning new words
Being outside is good for their wellbeing as well as your own and in Lancashire we have lots of beautiful places to walk and talk.
You might talk about:
- listening and describing the traffic as you drop children off to school – what sound do they make?
- looking at the ducks in the pond at your local park – what do their feet look like?
We’ll be adding inspiration here each week for you to try.
If your child goes to a childcare provider, they’ll have suggestions too. We’re asking providers to get involved and support you to take part.
BBC Tiny Happy People
As your child approaches the start of primary school, it is a good idea to play games that help with their understandings of word sounds. Great ideas for these include exploring rhymes and words that sound the same and different or playing I-Spy, so they can think about the different sounds that start words for the things around them.
What is Phonological Awareness?
Phonological awareness is the understanding that spoken words are made up of sounds and recognising how they come together to form words. Children usually develop this skill at around 4 or 5 years old, and it’s really important when learning to read.
Words for Life
Sharing stories, playing, reading together and making crafts – these activities from Words for Life will help your 3 or 4-year-old improve their speaking, reading and communicating skills at home. Support your young child as they practise their literacy skills and bolster what they are learning in nursery.
As children start to advance through primary school, is it important that they have the resources available to build on their language, literacy and communication skills from home. Scroll through our list of games, reading activities, videos and more – designed with year 3, year 4 and year 5 children in mind.
Hungry Little Minds
Hungry Little Minds has been launched by the DfE to encourage parents and carers to engage in activities that support their child’s early learning and help set them up for school and beyond.
Wondering why reading is SO good for children? Our new interactive resource lets you discover the academic research showing the amazing ways books can make a difference:
Children who read…
Whatever the weather
The article below has been adapted to provide useful information to share with parents and carers to support learning at home.
Outside you may find that a child who is normally shy or withdrawn will suddenly speak out. Many boys in particular seem to find their voice when they are engaged in more physical, active learning outdoors. Children can fine tune their listening skills outside, and develop confidence in projecting their voice across space.
Here are ten activities to support language development outside:
Listening walks are a great way to support children with language skills. This activity involves taking children out into the outdoor environment and using their listening skills to see what sounds they can hear. The adult can talk about the different sounds they hear and allow the children to guess what is making the sound.
Imaginative activities enable the children to extend their vocabulary, creating a range of scenarios in the outside environment. Mud kitchens encourage and enhance children’s role play experiences, offering them to use a variety of nouns and verbs to describe what they are doing. Open ended resources allow children to create areas and props to support their language development.
Building dens is a great way to support children with language and communication skills. This encourages children to work as a team to create a den for them to use. Lots of open ended resources such as blankets, cardboard boxes and tunnels provides children with the materials to create a structure, using their problem solving skills to think of different ways to use a resource.
Bug hotels offer the opportunity for children to use their investigation skills. Providing tools such as magnifying glasses and clear plastic pots, allows children to explore the environment and the creatures that may live inside. This activity encourages questioning and discussions to happen about what is observed. Adults can support this experience by offering fact books about mini beasts, giving the children something to refer back to.
Mark making activities in the outdoor environment can offer children a large scale to work on. Paintbrushes in water or chunky chalks can be used on surfaces such as walls or concrete floors to create art work and make marks. These can be easily washed away once the children have finished, offering the opportunity over and over again. Children can extend their language skills by talking about what they are drawing, and how different surfaces impact the marks they make.
6.Experimenting with volume
Volume and pitch of a voice changes dramatically in the outdoor environment, when outside sounds can change and volumes seem quieter due to the open environment. Games that experiment with volume such as “what’s the time, Mr Wolf?” can offer children the opportunity to use a range of volumes and observe the effects. Children can practise whispering and shouting to the wolf, to see how far away their voices can be heard.
The outside environment is a great opportunity to create cup phones using plastic cups and string. This is an old game that still encourages language today. The environment creates a large area allowing children to move far away from each other and communicate through the cups, learning about how sound travels. This activity supports children with language delay due to shyness, as it enables the children to join in with interaction without the pressure of speaking to someone face to face.
Create a treasure hunt in the outdoor environment where children have to find objects and talk about what they have found and where it was.
Offering writing materials outside is a great way for the children to note down their feelings and thoughts. They can draw pictures of things they have observed in the environment or use crayons and paper to make rubbings of different texture or materials. This is turn encourages them to comment on what they are doing and interact with nature.
Allowing children to take part in races by either running or using bikes, can support their understanding and language skills. Children will learn vocabulary such as slow, fast, stop and go. Using traffic signs and symbols can extend children’s knowledge of their environment, whilst supporting them to use words learnt in context.