Somewhere around your child’s first birthday, they’ll amaze you with their first word. Chances are that word will soon be followed by a second and a third word – and before you know it, your little one will be chattering away so much you can hardly get a word in edgeways!
However, new research shows that almost half of all children arriving at primary school don’t have the communication skills they need to learn effectively. Common problems include children who can’t speak clearly and audibly, or children who struggle to listen to instructions or take part in group conversations.
2011 is the National Year of Communication, during which the Communication Trust, which is backed by the Department for Education, aims to make communication for all children and young people a priority in homes and schools across the UK so that they can live life to the full.
I run a pre-school activity group, Talking Tots, that helps children to communicate using fun games and activities that build important communication skills such as telling stories, taking turns and listening to instructions.
The good news is that it’s possible to boost your child’s communication skills and social confidence through the right combination of encouragement, play and practice, either at home or at a group like ours.