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Once children have learnt to listen, they can start to make sense of the sounds that they hear. When they link sets of sounds with objects or actions, children start to understand that sounds have meaning. TTS has been working alongside Kate Freeman, a lead Communication Advisor from I CAN, who specialises in early years speech and language development (from birth to five). Together they have selected developmentally appropriate resources to encourage children’s ability to understand the world around them, which in turn improves a child’s ability to communicate.
Becoming familiar with the names for everyday objects helps enable children to feel in control of their environment. Once they understand object names, children can start to use these names to request their favourite toy or to draw an adult’s attention to what they are interested in.
The Everyday Objects Basket (EY04251), £39.95 is ideal for familiarising children with items they will encounter daily around their home. Made from a soft fabric, this collection of familiar items are safe and engaging, offering a host of learning through play opportunities. The basket includes; a set of keys, TV remote control, tissue container and tissues, a purse, a mobile phone, brush, soap and toothpaste – everything you see around a home!
Kate says, “When you are chatting with children about what they see in front of them, whether it’s a basket of bugs or books about the weather, get down on their level and really listen to what they have to say. Comment on what they are talking about, rather than directing the conversation with your questions.”
Small world play is encouraged with the High Street Buildings (EY01195), £31.95. Create a bustling high street with this set of 7 beautiful, wooden buildings. Each piece is hollow with detailed artwork and includes; a cafe, a post office, a florist, a bakery, grocery, a school and a church, ideal for small world imaginative play.
Kate comments, “Small world items can be used to develop imagination and to play out sequences of events, often narrated. Encouraging the child to lead the sequence of imagination and commenting on what they are doing with the people and objects, enables children to hear the words that go with their play, so that they can do the same when they are ready.”
Toddlers will love exploring what lies beneath the chunky, vibrant shapes with bold primary colours and simple pegs that is the Explorer Boards (EY04177), £28.95. The design enables even the youngest children to access the pictures. The set comes complete with five inserts with appealing, familiar images of fruit, vegetables, farm animals, pets and mini beasts. A wonderfully, developmentally appropriate resource that is continually engaging.
Kate believes, “With young children, introduce vocabulary for size and colour one at a time. So focus on ‘big’, then when they have mastered the understanding and use of this concept, try ‘little’. Or have a ‘red’ week and introduce the colour label in this week, followed by an ‘orange’ week. Introducing vocabulary this way means that children don’t have conflicting words to learn at the same time.”
To receive a copy of the new TTS Communication publication which includes advice from Kate Freeman call TTS on 0800 318 686 or for further information on any of these products please visit www.tts-shopping.com/earlyyears