Chris Williams, founder of “chatta” and language development...read more
Chris Williams, founder of “chatta” and language development expert, explores ideas and activities parents and childminders can use to support children’s development in communication and language development. In the second of a series of articles, he suggests activities and ideas for children aged 1 to 2
12-24 months: A time of rapid development
During this period a child's skills and sensory awareness develop at a rapid rate. Everything seems attractive and worth touching, smelling, and tasting. Toddlers are full of energy, active and curious. Every game, interaction and activity is an opportunity for language. Developing children need to hear more words. Names for things, colours, places and people.
How children learn to speak
The way children learn to speak is based on the experiences they have and the words they hear. They learn from the interactions they see and experience. Adults support children’s development through informal conversations, through songs and rhymes with movements and through shared reading. Asking children to discuss stories or real events helps them develop their language skills, their thinking and understanding of the world.
Books and reading
Reading with children is an essential habit to form and to include in every daily routine. Stories aren’t just for bedtime. Stories teach children words and help them develop a sense of order and sequence. Stories promote imagination, questioning, discussion and interaction. Here are some great books to read for under 2s.
• Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
• Gorilla by Anthony Browne
• The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
• The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
• Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Apps and Technology
There are many digital games and apps that can offer appealing educational value but the use of some of these can be at the cost of essential early interactions and opportunities for speaking. There is evidence that Infants with more hand-held screen time have an increased risk of an expressive speech delay. The best way to use technology with children is to use smartphones and tablets to take photos of the things they enjoy doing. This will provide a pocket-sized photo album, which can be shared and talked about time and time again. Pictures of any enjoyable and memorable experiences can be a perfect starting point for conversations. Take pictures of games, places, people, favourite foods, pets, buildings.. in fact anything and everything.
There are countless places on our doorstep that offer free and exciting local outings. Every trip is an opportunity to learn and build experiences. Every day there are opportunities for conversations about the weather, how busy places are, wildlife around and the trees and flowers noticed in the gardens you pass along the way.
Things to try:
• Visit a local park and look at the gardens and animals as well as enjoying the swings.
• Catch a bus together, sit upstairs and experience a different view.
• Take a look at front gardens along your street, which are your favourites?</>
• Call in to the local library, sit together and explore the children’s books.
•Take a local walk and stop to sit on public benches and play I-spy.
Children aged between 1 and 2 continue to develop physically, once they have learned they are always on the move. There are lots of simple and stimulating activities that can become part of daily and weekly routines
• Make Time for walking.
• Get dancing. Pick a favourite song and dance to it every day.
• Playing with puzzles, blocks, stacking and nesting toys, lacing materials, etc., to develop fine motor skills.
• Playing with musical instruments.
• Finger painting, using crayons, and large markers
• Playing catch with a ball
Simple board games can promote turn-taking and interaction. But of course there are lots of other good ways to instigate interaction and turn-taking. Talking during play “my turn, your turn” for instance, is a vital way to model interactions. Playing games helps children develop the skills to use when they are playing with other children.
Try these games:
• Pop up Pirate
• Connect 4
Between the ages 1 and 2 children should be able to:
• Know a few parts of the body and point to them when asked.
• Follow simple commands (“Roll the ball”) and understand simple questions (“Where’s your shoe?”).
• Enjoy simple stories, songs and rhymes.
• Point to pictures, when named, in books.
• Acquire new words on a regular basis.
• Use some one- or two-word questions (“Where doggy?” or “Go home?”).
• Put two words together (“More milk”).
• Use many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words.
The importance of listening skills
It is crucial that children develop the ability to listen in order to interact and communicate with the world efficiently. As children improve their listening, they become better equipped to develop their language, social and learning skills.
These activities can help promote strong listening skills.
- Take a listening walk. Stop at different locations and listen to the sounds that can be heard. Point in the direction of the sound, is it loud or quiet? Can you imagine what it might be? Play an “I-hear game ( like I-spy).
- Play Simon Says. It doesn’t need to be Simon of course, it could be a familiar toy or story character. This is a great game to help develop careful listening skills.
- Play copycat games. This can involve clapping patterns and taking turns to copy the pattern. It can also be good for songs and words, sing songs, notes and tunes and encourage children to copy them back.
How can chatta help?
Chatta has been designed to ensure progress in early language for all children. The approach uses an app to capture images of events in a child’s life, along with the spoken words that accompany the events.
Childminders are able to share “talking postcards” with parents. One childminder,
Margaret Lonsdale, explained: “Whenever I do something new or exciting with the children we have a chat together. We put the images together and talk about what we did. When I send the chats to parents they are able to have the same conversations with their children, and even try out new ideas. I love using chatta with my children.”
Chris Williams, founder of “chatta” and language development...read more
Did you know allergies affect more than 25% of children in Europe? How prepared...read more
We are really pleased to announce that with effect from 1st September 2017,...read more
Two and half years after it was first announced in the 2015 General Election,...read more
Government IT projects do not have a particularly good track record. This is...read more
In March, the then Childcare minister Caroline Dinenage announced that the...read more
Childcare Expo Midlands is back for 2017 with an unmissable programme of...read more
It's your last chance to receive your Morton Michel's Magic Miles fundraising...read more
Macmillan Cancer Support’s much-loved World’s Biggest Coffee...read more
The Nursery Catering Company (NCC) has launched its summer vegetarian and...read more
My Family Week celebrates families of all shapes and sizes, allowing children...read more
Get ready to be inspired by the leading influencers and suppliers from across...read more
Morton Michel are delighted to have teamed up with Make-A-Wish UK this...read more
Last week the inquest into the death of Nasar, a 14-year-old boy from North...read more
Children and babies are prone to head injuries as they have disproportionately...read more
An online services marketplace has created a GCSE style quiz to see how many...read more
A top au pair agency is leading a revolution in the holiday market by providing...read more
An event for everyone in the early years community will be opening its doors...read more
Childcare minister Caroline Dinenage MP chose Childcare Expo to make two...read more
One of the UK’s leading voices on physical activity in the early years...read more
The Department for Education has re-launched its start-up grants for childcare...read more
A unique, affordable conference for Childminders and all Early Years...read more
Childcare Expo London have just announced their bursting educational seminar...read more
Home childcarers are being urged to get involved with Save the Children’s...read more
Morton Michel has revamped its Childminder Help website to help budding...read more
Just 10% of under-fives meet NHS guidelines for physical activity of three...read more
A £4.4 million government fund has backed a new anti-bullying app as well...read more
Results of this year’s phonics screening check show a continued rise in...read more
Chief Medical Officers in the UK have written a letter to early-years...read more
Kidstogo has launched a Characteristics of Effective Learning pack, its first...read more
Children’s charity Action for Children (AfC) has taken over most of the...read more
Organic baby food brand with a Mediterranean twist Piccolo, has launched four...read more
Drinks brand The Berry Company has launched a range of children’s fruit...read more
Morton Michel’s annual design competition has proven to be a popular...read more
With only a few weeks to go, Childcare Expo is looking forward to welcoming its...read more
Online printable resource supplier Twinkl.co.uk is getting into the summer of...read more
Public health minister Jane Ellison MP has told childminders and other...read more
Childminders and other early-years practitioners now have an opportunity to...read more
Practitioners need to support parents as much as they can when it comes to...read more
A new wearable device designed to boost language development in babies and...read more
Practitioners should not overlook puppets as engaging and effective resources.read more
The early-years sector is in prime position to deliver national health goals,...read more
Manchester welcomed Childcare Expo with open furry arms last week at EventCity...read more
Morton Michel is delighted to announce the launch of their brand new website!read more
Never before has children’s health been deemed a ‘national...read more
Morton Michel has launched two new online forums for the childcare sector.read more
The number of nannies voluntarily registered with Ofsted has risen, reversing a...read more
Play deprivation must be addressed, the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit...read more
Family and disability charities welcomed childcare minister Sam Gyimah’s...read more
The Northamptonshire Childminding Association (NCA) has launched a national...read more
Two experienced teachers, authors and education advisers have launched a new...read more
An alliance of early-years organisations is stating its opposition to baseline...read more
The Care Inspectorate’s annual report on early learning and childcare...read more
Children’s Communication Charity I CAN has launched a new intervention;...read more
Northern Ireland’s consultation on the region’s proposed 10-year...read more
Deborah Lawson, general secretary of Voice, the union for education...read more
Childcarers have a fun new way to keep the car clean and tidy thanks to Tidy...read more
Increasing the free childcare provision to 30 hours is “going to have...read more
Education and childcare minister Sam Gyimah visited Paris for two days in...read more
Morton Michel’s annual design competition has proven to be a popular...read more
Maybe you’re a nanny looking to become a childminder or you have worked...read more
If one word had to sum up Childcare Expo Midlands last week it would have to be...read more
A few short months into his time as the Minister for Childcare in a single...read more
A new anti-inactivity programme is targeting children as young as five- years...read more
Childminders in England will soon be able to operate from suitable non-domestic...read more
Research from Post Office gift-card One4all revealed children’s birthday...read more
Many youngsters will be crossing roads for the first time independently over...read more
Awarding organisation NCFE has acquired the Council for Awards in Care, Health...read more
This autumn marks the 6th year for Childcare Expo at Coventry’s Ricoh...read more
A recent contributor to Home Childcarer was named in the Queen’s Birthday...read more
This September, the Ricoh Arena in Coventry will once again be fizzing with...read more
The Children’s Activities Association (CAA) will be a UK first; a...read more
Schools will have to start publishing their childcare provision alongside...read more
The Department for Education has issued new guidance for practitioners on child...read more
The National Early Years Trainers & Consultants Organisation (NEYTCO) has...read more
London’s Olympia was a hive of activity last month as early years...read more
Early years practitioners are being urged to take part in a research project...read more
Devon County Council (DCC) has renewed its contract with training provider and...read more
New government funding will be given to councils to help them prepare for the...read more
The government has launched a competition to develop a mobile app to help...read more
We all know the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ and anyone who...read more
Ofsted-inspection tracking website Watchsted now collects and features...read more
The government’s childcare business-grant scheme has been extended for a...read more
A new national organisation for early-years trainers launched at an event in...read more
Nursery staff and childminders will be expected to report pre-school children...read more
Health Minister, Dr Dan Poulter, and Childcare and Education, Minister Sam...read more
The first childminder agency in England has been given the green light.read more
After holding a consultation, the Government has confirmed that childminders,...read more
The government’s Childcare Business Grant Scheme, offering grants of up...read more
Childcare minister Sam Gyimah has written to the childcare sector to thank...read more
The Welsh government has launched a 10-year plan for the early years, childcare...read more
A coalition of charities has launched the Read On. Get On. campaign and...read more
Nurseries, pre-schools and childminders have all shown an improvement,...read more
Inspections of nurseries rated as ‘require improvement’ are to be...read more
The Department for Education has confirmed that Sam Gyimah is the new childcare...read more
Childcare providers will have their funding withdrawn if they do not...read more
Sam Gyimah, MP for East Surrey, has replaced Elizabeth Truss as minister...read more
David Hoare, a trustee of the Academies Enterprise Trust, has been appointed as...read more
The House of Lords has launched an inquiry into how affordable childcare is and...read more
Over two-thirds of nurseries and childminders fear the new Tax-Free Childcare...read more
Montessori Centre International (MCI) has announced a new Diploma in Montessori...read more
Monday 2nd June 2014 – The day the childcare sector took over LEGOLAND...read more
The number of childminders has fallen by over 2,000 in the last six months,...read more
Early years regulator, Ofsted, has clarified and simplified its essential...read more
Kingston University psychologist Dr Jo Van Herwegen has warned that if children...read more
Employers of nannies were left angry and confused in April after receiving...read more
The Government announced a freeze on Ofsted fees for childminders on the same...read more
New laws giving play opportunities for children across Wales will soon come...read more
All home childcarers are invited to celebrate Morton Michel’s 50th...read more
Women and equalities minister Maria Miller recently reminded aspiring...read more
Norland, the world famous Early Years training college, is the UK’s first...read more
Early years regulator, Ofsted, has launched a consultation on how childminder...read more
A political row has erupted over the sacking of Ofsted chief, Baroness Morgan....read more
Morton Michel, the leading childcare insurance provider in the UK, is...read more
The first year under the new Ofsted inspection framework judged more...read more
The Government is pressing ahead with its plans to introduce childminder...read more
The official launch of the Register of Playwork Professionals was warmly...read more
A new online safe driver qualification designed specifically for childcarers...read more
Early-years training provider People & Business Development Ltd (PBD) is...read more
The number of children being care for by childminders in Scotland rose in 2012...read more
The site features news and information about the Campaign, including the...read more
After reviewing proposals from over 100 different organisations interested in...read more
Parents will have to start paying money into a pension scheme for their nanny...read more
The Welsh government launched its first childcare and early years plan, setting...read more
Change4Life has launched a campaign to ensure children maintain a healthy...read more
From this month until December, schools, colleges and youth groups across the...read more