• Prompt children’s thinking and discussion through involvement in their play.
  • Talk to children about what they have been doing and help them to reflect upon and explain events, e.g. You told me this model was going to be a tractor. What’s this lever for?
  • When you need to give children directions be clear and help them to deal with those involving more than one action, e.g. Time to come and wash your hands and then we’ll set the table for lunch.
  • When introducing a new activity, use mime and gesture to support language development.
  • Showing and talking about a photograph of an activity such as hand washing can help to reinforce understanding.
  • Make playful “silly mistakes” deliberately to prompt reaction and allow children to explore being the “expert”.
  • Be aware that some children may watch another child in order to know what to do, rather than understanding what you’ve said themselves.
  • Embed sustained shared thinking approaches to extend language and conversational moments to help increase the child’s awareness and understanding of speech.