Communication and language development

Communication and language is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage and is used to assess children's ability to speak, pay attention, listen and understand. Children do this in range of ways including, listening to stories, responding appropriately to what people say, by articulating and expressing their feelings and developing their own narratives and connecting ideas or events.

Below you will find a range of practical articles and expert features that cover communication and language development to help you develop these skills and overcome challenges you might encounter. For more information on the EYFS you can download latest version of the statutory framework here.

Latest Practical

Well versed

Rhyme is a fantastic medium for inspiring children to engage with narrative and develop vocabulary. Get into your own poetry rhythm by checking out these activities.

Physical development: On point

Try the following ideas for making sustainable wood or cork geoboards, and give your children the invaluable experience of creating their own eco-friendly resources using nails or pins, says Hilary White.

Communication and language: Tall tales

Making up a story orally can sometimes be more powerful than reading out loud from a book. Claire Hewson suggests ways to improvise on a classic fairy story and encourage children to create and tell their own exciting narratives.

Literacy: Disgustingly good!

Turn to a new page for cooking by linking children's favourite stories to the preparation of tasty treats. One favourite is bound to be The Disgusting Sandwich, says Karen Hart.

Understanding the world: Time to grow

When spring is sprung, it's time to introduce children to some elementary gardening skills. Learning about life cycles and taking responsibility for growing plants will give them an enormous sense of achievement.

Expressive arts and design: Bold, bright, beautiful

Introduce children to the award-winning author and illustrator Lois Ehlert and equip them to create colourful collages with a range of resources including coloured paper, glue, wire, thread and recycled textiles.

Maths: From a solid base

Children are at their most self-absorbed in the construction area which means there are strong opportunities for maths learning. Jenni Clarke suggests ways to support this through in the moment planning.

Latest Features

Focus: Mastering maths

Balance child and adult-led learning to build children's knowledge and skills.

Focus: Outdoor learning

Audit your space and take a fresh view on how to optimise its potential.

Creating a language-rich environment: So much to talk about

It's always good to re-visit and reflect on how the different areas of your provision are being used to support language and communication. Claire Hewson suggests ways to maximise the potential for conversations around the setting using staff as your most precious resource.

Communication and language: Develop your own approach

Sometimes children need extra help to support their communication and language skills. While this does not necessarily mean there is a long-term difficulty, a little extra support from a key person – in partnership with parents – will enable them to thrive.

EYFS reforms: In praise of creativity

The new EAD Early Learning Goals invite practitioners to optimise children's creativity through oral, aural, cultural and aesthetic expression – thereby enhancing their holistic well-being.

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