3 – 4

Talk, listen and respond

Top tip

Talk, listen and respond

What to do with this activity?

Children get better at using words and sentences when they hear you talk, and when you listen to what they have to say.

Talk to your child about what you and they are doing and seeing. Pause and listen – your child might have something to say.

Pose simple questions to your child that you think they will be able to answer. For example ask “How will we get to the shop - by walking, taking the bus or car?". Listen to their answers.

At home, tell your child what things are called, and what you are doing. Before you go out, tell your child where you will go and what you will do. When you come back, talk with your child about where you visited, who you met, and what you did.

Their conversation skills will grow the more practice they get, and the more they are listened to.


  • Why am I doing this?

    Children’s ability to think and understand experiences develops by listening and speaking. As a child’s language becomes more complex so does their ability to understand more complex thoughts and ideas. The family is the child’s first source of language and learning and there are lots of everyday activities that occur in the home, which can help children’s language skills. Your child will get better at using words when they practice words and hear the sounds of words.

  • How can I do more?

    Just keep talking and listening. Normal routines provide lots of opportunities for conversation and for all the family to learn new things. If you are walking down a street, point out things you see and talk about them. Explain new words, show the colours or point out shapes. Ask your child what animals or buildings they like. There’s no end to what you can talk about together.

Rate this activity

Based on 39 reviews
How would you rate it?
1 = Poor, 5 = Great.

Keep in touch
Sign up for more tips