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Chatting chums: chat, play, read

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From as young as 1-month-old babies can recognise and turn their head towards their parent's voice. This page is full of tips and activities for chatting with your little one.

How much can my little one understand?

All children develop at different rates. The below is an indication of how your baby develops - some reach certain milestones faster than others. You can visit Hungry Little Minds to find out more.

  • At 1 - 4 months your baby can respond to chat and games like peek-a-boo: Talk to them in an animated, tuneful voice with lots of smiles, laughter and facial expressions. Try copying the noises your baby makes.
  • At 6 months babies can recognise their own name and will respond when others are chatting to them: Match your words with actions to help your baby understand what you're saying - for example, wave when you say "bye-bye".
  • At 1 - 2 years your toddler will use sounds to represent meaning: Talk about what you're doing together, use animal sounds to help identify them, and use short simple sentences.
  • At 2 - 3 years your toddler's understanding of words and phrases grows quickly: Start conversations about feelings, memories, and the future
  • At 3-4 years your child understands full sentences and will ask questions: Ask your child about what happened in their day - this helps them to practice using memory.
  • At 4-5 years your child can take part in longer conversations: Ask your child if they can think of possible solutions to problems. For example, if their hat is missing ask where might be a good place to look.


Watch Tony Ross read I Don't Want to Wash My Hands with your little on and then chat about it afterwards. If your child is under 12 months, ask them to point at the Little Princess' crown each time the page is turned. If your child is a little older, you can pause the video and ask questions about the pictures in the story: Do they like cake? Can they see the cat?... Ask about their favourite animal, what noise do you make when you sneeze?

Search for Hungry Little Minds for simple tips and activities, or to find out whats available where you live.

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