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Home learning for communication, language and literacy

Why the home learning environment is important

A child’s language development begins long before they start school and is shaped by the people and places in their lives – their home learning environment. This is a good video to share with parents and practitioners as an introduction to current initiatives and valuing parents as their child’s first educator.

ICAN recommended resources for home learning 

ICAN have put together a range of resources for home-learning and helping children's understanding of the coronavirus. ICAN have shared some really useful advice and resources for parents about how they can talk to their children about coronavirus. Their speech and language therapists have also put together some fun activities that parents can try with their children at home to build essential speech, language and communication skills.

Tiny Happy People

Tiny Happy People is a fabulous free to use online resource for parents, practitioners and community groups. All the content is evidence based and quality assured by Speech and Language Therapists, Midwives and Health Visitors. It’s a language and literacy initiative with an aim to halve the language gap among children aged under five across the UK. At the heart of the plan is encouraging parents to talk to their children from a very early age. It’s an opportunity to make a really positive difference, supporting children at an early stage in their lives, which will help them fulfil their potential. 

Small Talk 

The National Literacy Trust is working with the Department for Education (DfE) on a multi-faceted initiative, which will support parents to provide language-rich home learning environments for 0 to 5-year-olds. Part of this is the development of a new website called Small Talk, filled with guidance, activities and videos for parents to help them turn the activities they are already doing with their child into new opportunities to build their child’s language skills.

Hungry Little Minds

This Department for Education campaign encourages parents and carers to adopt positive activities and behaviours to boost children's communication, language and literacy development.

Words for Life

Here, you will find the words and actions to some popular songs and nursery rhymes. Singing songs and rhymes is really good for babies, as the rhythms and repetitive language make it easier for babies to learn language skills. Singing and reciting with children is also a great way of bonding with them. 

The Communication Trust

They have developed resources to encourage listening, understanding, interaction and play, for children aged 0 to 5 and 5 to 11 called Listen Up. The packs explain about the importance of these skills and are full of activity ideas, which can help children to learn, make friends and have fun.

NHS Speech Language Therapy Resources

This NHS website provides a wide range of information, activities, tips and strategies in promoting children’s speech, language and communication.

Communication Station

A range of You Tube clips from the NHS which offer quick and easy activities and tips to promote children’s speech, language and communication that are perfect to share with parents, carers and practitioners.

Find some great YouTube clips here:

BCP Libraries

Take a look at what they are doing at the BCP libraries Facebook page. Activities for all ages including wriggle and rhyme, storytime, crafts and much more.

Family Zone

Family Zone is full of free activities and ideas to keep children busy at home, whilst also benefiting their reading, writing and language development. Just click on the relevant age group to get the latest resources.

Family hub virtual offer

The BCP Council family hubs provide a virtual offer for parents and carers with children under the age of five to promote their communication, language and literacy. 

NHS Start 4 Life - Learning to talk

Advice for parents, providing developmental information and tips on how to help your baby to talk. This easy to navigate webpage covers children from birth to five years including help and advice for when families speak more than one language.

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust has some useful resources to support families with bilingualism.