Language Focused Play


What is Language Focused Play?

Language Focussed Play is a 5-10minute part of the day when your child has your full attention and gives them an opportunity to control their play without direction from an adult. Ideally you will build this into your daily routine.

What you will need :

  • 5 -10 minutes, depending on the age of the child and their attention span;
  • A quiet space – turn off all distractions (TV, radio, phone, ipad);
  • Room to move - get down to child’s level so that they can see your face;  follow them around the room if they move;
  • Let your child lead – give your child a chance to direct the play; wait to see what they do and then copy them; try not to make suggestions or show them what to do;
  • Wait for your child to look at you before saying anything;
  • Comment on what your child is doing, using 1 or 2 words; try not to ask questions.

“Play is the highest form of research” Albert Einstein

By taking time out each day to fully focus on your child’s play and allowing them to direct the play themselves without distractions or instructions, you will be giving them the opportunity to develop their speech, language and communication skills at their own pace. You are facilitating their play, rather than dominating it and this will give them the confidence to build vocabulary, try new things and extend their play and social skills.

Top Tip

Repeat what your child says and add 1 word, eg “car”, “big car” or “blue car”. This allows the child to hear back what they have said and by adding an extra word helps the child hear new words. Comment on what your child is doing throughout the day, eg getting washed and dressed, going to the shops. Use simple language and try not to ask too many questions. By offering a commentary on what’s happening, eg “shoes on, let’s go to the park!” allows a child to hear words with their actions.
Watch this video to see how you can help your child's language skills through play.
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Age Groups

Find more games, resources, tips and links for your child's age group here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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For further support or advice, please feel free to contact us on the email address below.
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