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Top Tips2018-10-23T10:07:22+00:00

Top tips!

Tips for making your 5 minutes a success!

No matter what your child’s age setting aside 5 minutes to be with your child and join in with an activity of their choosing is extremely powerful, particularly if you do this frequently and ideally daily using the tips below.

  • Timing: Choose a time when there are no distractions such as siblings or expected phone calls. This is much easier said than done with our busy lives! You may need partners or grandparents around to help with this or need to think about the time of day such as when siblings are at school or having a nap.
  • Planning: Build it into your daily routine then you’re more likely to do it – build a habit! Some families carry out their 5 minutes at bath time others first thing in the morning before work. The key is making sure your child and you are not tired or hungry!
  • Distractions: Find a quiet place where there is less distraction if your child is easily distracted. This might not be your child’s usual place for playing!
  • Toys: Have a choice of 2 or 3 items for your child that they enjoy playing with e.g. for younger child: farm toys, lift the flap books, puzzle, playdough; for the older child: Playmobil, Lego, books, puzzles, board games.
  • Have fun! If you are having fun with your child, the likelihood they are too! This will mean they want to have this time with you again, allowing for many more opportunities to support your child’s speech, language and communication without them even knowing it!

Supporting your child’s speech & language

  • Follow your child’s lead in what they play with and when they want you to join and communicate
  • Think about where you are
  • Be opposite your child to allow for lots of opportunities of seeing how words are made.
  • Be at their level -so again they can see all the information we share on our faces
  • Be in their ‘listening space’ – close enough that is comfortable for both of you.
  • Get comfortable with silence. Sounds counter intuitive right?!

Actually, waiting with extra silence allows us to see how our child is trying to communicate with us, what they’re communicating about and also shows we value our child’s play and interests. We also support our child’s focus on a task without our interruptions, their thought processes and planning and allow their independence in solving problems and seeking help when they need it.

  • Interpret – Provide a word or sign to what your child shows you or vocalises. e.g.
  • Child points to ‘plane’ & says ‘ugh’, adult could say ‘plane’ & make a gesture/sign.
  • Add on – Add on a word to what your child says – this works from using single words right up to full sentences!
  • Recast – if your child is unclear or misses a word – acknowledge what they have said positively and model how adult’s say the word with the correct sound or missing word placing a little emphasis on this e.g.
  • Child says: ‘Look dat’, adult would say, ‘yes look cat’
  • Child says ‘I goed to the park’, adult would say ‘yes you went to the park’
  • Child says ‘I went to the park. I had an ice-cream.”, adult could say ‘wow you went to the park and you had an ice-cream.”

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