Talking About Speech and Language at Footsteps Farnborough
Our focus area of development this term is speech and language. Communication and language skills are crucial for every child’s overall development and their future into big school and beyond. We can help build these skills with simple daily interactions. Our staff are always on hand to act as a positive role model, talking with them slowly and clearly, while showing interest in everything they have to say. But we know learning is always better with play.
Footsteps staff support children by introducing songs into play, continuously conversing with children and role modelling speech to them throughout daily routines and activities. We love to give the children lots of opportunities to read stories together, learn new words and gain knowledge about things that interest us. We also encourage a 2 way partnership with parents and families. Where English is an additional language, as well as teaching new words, we always stress how important it is for parents/carers to share words with us that children use at home so we can understand how children communicate. This is particularly important for their personal needs. We also welcome families to bring in books and food packages in their home language so that the children feel a sense of familiarity.
Some other activities we include within our free flow and structured play to support our speech and language focus areas include:
The kitchen offers many language opportunities. We love to encourage language development while making
something delicious to eat. Counting, weighing, and measuring are all part of a baking experience. Recently we enjoyed baking cookies and getting creative with decorations like icing and sprinkles.
Using natural resources to learn about size and shape is a great way to fire their imaginations. The children not only learn how to follow instructions but can express their interests to build towers, fairy gardens or castles.
Children love moving to music and playing musical games. We love to dance, sing along to music, use percussion instruments and learn all about sound – soft, loud, slow, fast even happy or sad.
At Footsteps we have changed the traditional approach to dressing up to encourage language and self-expression. We now provide children with lots of pieces of material, hats, adult shoes/boots, real jewellery, real glasse
s. This has enabled them to create their own outfits, using their creative flair, extended their knowledge of sizes, how to join materials, and enable open-ended play rather than outfits being specific to a particular role. Children can pretend to be someone else of their choosing and use new vocabulary in their imaginative role. Our staff always love an opportunity to dress up too!
Picture books and non-fiction books provide great opportunities for developing language. Many picture books relate to specific themes. Looking at a page about the farm, for example, teaches a variety of vocabulary related to animals, harvest and where our food comes from. We always like to find out what the children are motivated by, look out for different areas of interest and encourage pointing to and saying the names of the pictures.
Sand Play and Sensory Trays
Sensory vocabulary is developed through sand play, exploring our setting and sensory trays. A sensory tray filled with different objects encourages language as your child touches and talks about items in the tray. We love to use items we find in Forest school and other natural resources.
To find out about how we help develop children’s speech and language or to enquire about places, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org