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Developing expressive language

Why is this important?
As language develops, children need to be able to use more words to make longer sentences. This happens by adding grammatical elements (i.e. plurals, past tense) or by linking two thoughts (e.g. using ‘and’/‘because’) thereby making sentences much longer. Children are ready for this when they have the vocabulary to be able to link three key words in a sentence.

What to do

  • Gather together two favourite toys (e.g. doll and teddy). You will need a picture to represent them as well (e.g. draw a picture/take a photo/cut out a picture of a teddy and doll).
  • Draw/print out/cut out a picture of someone sitting, standing, running and sleeping.
  • Now draw/print out/cut out some pictures of a few common items in the room (e.g. chair, television, table, drawers).
  • Put the pictures in three piles and encourage the child to take one picture from each pile to make a sentence: ‘Teddy sitting chair.’
  • Encourage the child to say the sentence and then make teddy/doll perform the action.
  • Keep one or two words the same (e.g. teddy sitting bed, teddy sitting sofa).