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Get Talking Haringey - developing your child's communication and language skills

The Haringey Early Years team is on a mission to support families in developing communication and language with young children.

Get Talking Haringey events 

Come and join our events and find out about supporting your children in communication and language!

Our family focused events will include a whole range of engaging and interactive activities, including music, story-telling and much, much more besides!

Free entry, open to all!

Zero to five years old: the crucial years

Communication and language develops very quickly between birth to 5 years old, so it is very important for children to have plenty of opportunities to play, talk, listen and be listened to in these early years.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, some children have been facing even greater challenges with the development of their communication skills, making it even more important to support young children.

Communication develops the best through simple everyday interactions and comes in many forms: talking, gesture, singing, poetry and stories to name a few. 

Being a good communicator helps us to:

  • connect with our families 
  • socialise 
  • engage with the wider world 
  • find out new things and access education

Talking supports your child to have the best start possible! 

A few facts

  • Playing and talking with your baby or child helps the brain to develop.
  • Listening to your baby or child allows them to practice essential speech skills.
  • Being listened to helps your child build a sense of self and self esteem.

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dad and child playingPlaying helps your child to make sense of the world around them. Even babies enjoy play. Play is essential for a child's overall development, as it:

  • helps develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making skills
  • promotes language development and communication skills
  • enhances social skills such as sharing, cooperation, empathy, and understanding different perspectives
  • encourages the development of fine and gross motor skills, coordination, and spatial awareness
  • provides opportunities for children to learn and practice skills to help manage their feelings and those of others 
  • supports the formation of positive parent-child relationships, as parents can engage in play with their children and strengthen their bond
  • helps reduce stress and anxiety in children, promoting their mental well-being

Resources to support play with your child

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mum listening to daughter smilingListening to your young child is very important for the development of communication skills.

Very young children may not be using 'words' but it is vital to listen and respond to the gestures and sounds they make. Listening to you child helps them in so many ways:

  • developmental insights:
    young children go through rapid developmental stages, understanding their thoughts, ideas, and concerns can provide parents with a deeper understanding of their child's individuality and unique needs.
  • building trust and connection:
    listening attentively to young children demonstrates that their thoughts and opinions are valued and respected. It helps in building a strong foundation of trust and connection between parents and their children
  • emotional wellbeing:
    listening to young children's feelings and emotions helps them to understand what they are feeling. It allows parents to empathise with their child's emotions and provide comfort. Active listening promotes emotional wellbeing and provides a safe space for children to express themselves freely
  • language and communication skills:
    when parents attentively listen, children learn new vocabulary and effective ways to express their thoughts and ideas. This promotes their language development, strengthens their communication abilities, and prepares them for better social interactions
  • strengthening self-esteem and self-confidence:
    actively listening to young children boosts their self-esteem and self-confidence
  • parent-child bonding:
    listening to young children strengthens the bond between parents and their children. It creates opportunities for quality time together, shared experiences, and meaningful conversations
  • setting a strong foundation for communication:
    when parents listen attentively to young children, it sets a positive example of  communication. It teaches children the value of active listening, respect for others' perspectives, and open-mindedness. 

Resources to support with listening

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dad and daughter reading and laughingTalking with children of all ages supports the development of language.

Regular conversations with young children:

  • help them develop vocabulary, grammar, and communication skills
  • stimulate their thinking abilities and problem-solving skills. It encourages them to ask questions, explore new concepts, and make connections between ideas
  • help children learn the art of conversation, turn-taking, active listening, and empathy. It prepares them to interact with others
  • lay the foundation for future academic success
  • provide an opportunity for parents to share their cultural values, beliefs, and experiences with their children. It helps children develop an understanding and respect for diversity, promoting cultural awareness and a broader world view
  • allows them to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills, when focussed on everyday situations and challenges
  • play a crucial role in developing early literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness, letter recognition, and comprehension. It sets the stage for future reading and writing success

Resources to support talking with young children

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More resources

See below a list of links to more resources that will help you support your children in developing their communication and language skills:

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Page last updated:

February 16, 2024