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Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Play and Early Conversation – Early Years

Play is not only enjoyable for a child but it also is important in encouraging the skills necessary for language development. These include:

  • Concentration
  • Listening
  • Development of concepts (shape, position, colour)
  • Symbolic understanding (toys are symbols for objects in the same way that words are symbols)
  • Social skills (such as taking turns)

Young children begin learning about conversation within the first few weeks following birth! The new born baby learns to focus on faces, give eye contact and vocalise to indicate his/her needs to the carer. Non-verbal interactions, such as eye contact, facial expression, imitation and turn-taking are important foundation skills for language development.

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Last updated: 17 April, 2018

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