Small Talk

Dad and young girl playing with bubbles at home

What is Small Talk?

Small Talk is a new project which helps parents turn the activities they are already doing with their child every day into new opportunities to build their child’s language skills.

As part of the project, has been created. It is a brand new website packed with simple videos, tips and information to help parents chat, play and read with their young child every day.

From breakfast to bedtime to a trip to the supermarket, the website is full of simple activities for parents to do with their child wherever they are.

As part of the Small Talk project, we will also be running a series of public events in the places that parents spend time with their child every day, such as shopping centres and coffee shops. Trained volunteers from local businesses will join early years professionals to show parents short, simple and fun activities they can do at home with their child to improve their language skills.

Why is Small Talk needed?

Small Talk aims to close the language gap which sees children from the most disadvantaged communities in England starting primary school with a vocabulary 19 months behind their peers– a gap most will never recover from.

Small Talk forms part of our home learning environment initiative, run with the Department for Education (DfE).

The project is part of the Secretary of State's ambition to halve the number of children starting school without the early communication and language skills they need by 2028.