Play with your child with things they are interested in. Get down to their level and follow their lead while playing together.
Notice what your child is looking or pointing at and talk about it. Try to do this before their attention moves on to something else – that might be within a couple of seconds for babies and toddlers.
Picture books introduce your child to new things they haven’t seen yet in real life! For younger children, point to the pictures and say what you see. For older children, ask them to tell the story to you, or talk about what the characters might be thinking and feeling.
Take turns to make noises or speak. Even with young babies, you can respond to their babbling by copying back the sounds you hear and then waiting for them to take another turn. Older children can hold longer conversations, so slow down your speech, give them plenty of time to respond and listen carefully to what they have to say.
Make reading, singing and playing fun by using lots of actions and, different voices. Young children learn a lot from singing the same song or looking at the same book again and again.
Talk to your child in short, simple sentences. This helps them understand what you are saying and makes it easier for them to have a go at copying when they’re ready.