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Playing • Enjoying nursery rhymes and actions songs. • Having a conversation with toys in their own baby language. • Playing alongside, but not with, other children. • Playing with a toy for at least five minutes.

At 3 years Understanding • Understanding some size, colour and position words, such as “in” and “on”. • Answering ‘who, ‘why’ and ‘where’ questions. • Expressing emotions.

• Saying these sounds in words p b m w n t d k g. • Sometimes saying f and s in words.

• Listening to a 20 minute story. • Starting make-believe play such as going to the shops. • Pretending to be someone else in play. • Using words to get attention such as ‘watch me’. • Able to express emotion.

Please remember this leaflet gives you guidelines. All children are different. If you are worried about your child’s speech and language development, please contact us.

Talking • Talking in a joined up way – you should be able to understand most of the words. • Talking about past and present experiences. • Beginning to ask ‘what’ and ‘who’ questions.

Enquiries to: Speech and Language Therapy Dewsbury Health Centre Wellington Road Dewsbury WF13 1HN Tel: 01924 351546

• Counting three objects, pointing to each one. • Singing songs and telling stories.

Reference: tq1288 Publication date: Oct 2006

Speech sounds • Making themselves understood to people who know them well.



© Kirklees Primary Care Trust Adapted from a leaflet by Janet Isaacs, Fiona Peel and Alison Paxton.


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hello ah Speech and Language Development Guidelines for parents

This leaflet is for parents/guardians of children up to 3 years old. It is designed to help you know what children should be doing at different ages so that they learn to talk.

At 1 year

At 6 months

• Enjoying games like ‘round and round the garden’.

• Playing imaginatively with toys such as making tea, dressing dolly, playing with toy cars.

• Beginning to watch people’s faces when they speak.

• Talking to you and to themselves in their own ‘baby language’.

• Using social words like ‘hello’ and ‘byebye’.

• Crying with pain or hunger in different ways.

• Using gestures, like pointing and waving.

• Understanding and copying facial expressions.

• Making noises to get attention.

• Using exclamations like ‘oh!’, ‘ah!’ ‘aw!’.

At 2 years

• Making sounds when people talk to them. • Smiling at familiar people • Responding to the word ‘no’. • Beginning to play with sounds for the fun of it, such as ‘bababa’.

At 9 months • Enjoying listening to nursery rhymes and music. • Looking at pictures or simple books with you for a minute or so. • Showing some understanding of very familiar words or phrases like: “bye bye”, “come here”, “no”, “ta”. • Understanding the names of some familiar objects and people. • Shouting to attract your attention. • Babbling with strings of different sounds. • Copying sounds that you make and the tune in your voice.

• Listening when spoken to. • Looking at your face when you call their name.

• Trying to say their first words such as ‘mama’.

At 18 months

Playing • Pretending to do real-life activities, like sweeping floors, cooking, driving and talking on the phone.

Understanding • Readily understanding most everyday words and actions. • Understanding simple requests.


• Listening to simple stories with pictures.

• Pointing to pictures in a book when asked ‘show me’.


• Pointing to parts of the body. • Understanding simple commands, like ‘give me the teddy’.

• Using at least 50 words such as the names of objects, actions and people. • Wanting to learn new words.


• Starting to use questions such as ‘what’s that?’

• Using at least 10 words.

• Taking turns in a conversation.

• Copying new words.

• Joining 2 words together eg "more milk”.

• Using gesture along with sounds and words. • Getting attention by pointing and/or vocalising.

Speech sounds • Using a variety of sounds eg m p b w n t d, in words. • Trying to say lots of words but not always correctly.

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