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

Communication and language: Causing a stir

  • Karen Hart, teacher and education writer

Now is the time for children to harvest a range of exciting new natural objects, including catkins, blossom, dandelions, twigs and leaves – to take to the mud kitchen and have fun mixing them into magic potions.

Communication and language: Relax and chat

  • Judith Harries, teacher, Northamptonshire

Support children to extend their conversations and ideas while they are busy at the sand play area. As a shared place to play it provides fantastic opportunities for building confidence in speaking.

Communication and Language: Listen to this

  • Karen Hart

Playing outdoors with friends is a perfect way to boost communication skills and these simple games are easy to set up. Children will enjoy sharing and talking about their tactile, sensory experiences.

Physical development: Against the grain

Revisit your sand trays with these new ideas to promote concentration, hand-to-eye co-ordination and ne motor skills. Children can also get to grips with how tools can effect changes to materials.

Communication and language: A rhyming artist

  • Judith Harris

Nick Sharratt is a prolific children’s author and illustrator famous for his rhyming text and colourful illustrations. The following activities use his work to develop children’s communication and language skills.

Communication and language: Feel the rhythm

  • Judith Harries, teacher based in Northampton

Explore the work of Giles Andreae and tap into rhyme as a source of fun and creativity. Use it to develop early literacy skills, including listening and phonics preparation.

Find quality time

Find quality time

  • Annette Rawstrone

It is important for parents to find the time to interact directly with their child whenever they can. That means ensuring too many other things do not get in the way, says Annette Rawstrone.

Latest Features

How to be a responsible pet owner

  • Karen Faux

Getting involved with National Pet month provides a great way to educate children about the care and characteristics of household pets. While keeping pets in an early years setting is not generally advisable, there are lots of ways to build on children’s natural enthusiasm for them through books, role-play, small world play and discussion.

Children enjoy time spent in the mud kitchen at Busy Bees Hartham Park Nursery.

Glorious mud!

  • Karen Faux

Winter is nearly over and if you’ve recently done an audit of your outdoor space, you might now be thinking about giving your mud kitchen a revamp, and introducing some new resources. If you haven’t yet set up a mud kitchen, now is definitely the time to start planning one.

Families who participated in the trial found the app helped them to stick to rules and boundaries

Social and emotional development is EasyPeasy

  • Sal McKeown

The EasyPeasy app engages families and children with game ideas and supports children’s social and emotional development and school readiness, according to a research trial. Sal McKeown explains.

Debbie Giles reads Sammy Squirrel to her pre-schoolers.

How imaginative resources ‘motivate’ home learning

  • Maureen Lee, early years adviser to Best Practice Network

Find out how one setting sent ‘borrow bags’ home with children to help parents understand how they could support their ‘fundamental movements’ as a precursor to skills used in games and specific sports.

Extend schemas to make children feel empowered

  • Dr John Siraj- Blatchford is honorary professor at the University of Plymouth and partner of community interest company, SchemaPlay

A project in Walsall highlights how practitioners are successfully building upon children’s favoured schemes and schema to build in new challenges, extend learning and improve EYFS outcomes.

View all Communication and language development

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