Help develop your child's communication skills

Family playing with fake phone
Communication difficulties in children can be tackled through a variety of different activities and games. Find some ideas here to get you started.

The ability to communicate is something many of us take for granted, but one in ten children in the UK struggle with a communication development or disability.

A child or young person may have a communication disability if they cannot express themselves, understand others or build relationships because of problems in one of more of these areas:

  • Understanding and finding the right words
  • Producing, ordering and discriminating between speech sounds
  • Using rules about how words, phrases and sentences are formed to convey meaning
  • Using and understanding language in different social contexts

Develop your child’s communication skills

  • Play lots of games that encourage children to talk, such as I Spy, Spot the Difference and Simon Says
  • Give your child lots of opportunity to speak to you
  • With younger children, repeat their sentences back correctly to show that you are listening and so that they can hear examples of proper speech
  • Give your child plenty of time to get their words out
  • Read books that make use of repetition, such as those containing rhymes and songs
  • Listen to your child with interest, ask them about their day, and to retell familiar stories to you