Get Talking includes nursery rhymes and well-known stories which are great for helping your little one learn their words. There are also lots of opportunities to enjoy making animal noises and sound effects together.
This pathway links to the key or ‘prime’ areas of the Early Years Curriculum called Communication and Language.
This is a key area of development, because your child’s ability to communicate is so important for learning. Remember – we use language to ‘think things through’, to describe what we are feeling, and to build relationships. Research has shown that ‘serve and return’ conversations, in which child and adult communicate backwards and forwards with each other, are crucial for healthy brain development.
All the stories and activities in this pathway encourage your child to develop communication skills and build their vocabulary, to support them in feeling ready for school.
What’s in the pathway?
- There are six books to read, listen to and talk about:
- The first book is a much-loved nursery rhyme, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” – enjoy singing along with the rhyme together! Sit down in your ‘boat’ and do some rowing actions to match the song.
- You might also recognise the second story – “Cook, Pot, Cook”, a simplified version of a traditional favourite, “The Magic Porridge Pot”. Practise saying the commands from the story, together with your child, such as “cook, pot, cook” and “Stop, pot, stop”.
- Next is another simplified traditional tale, “I Will Get You”, a version of the “Three Billy Goats Gruff”. The story includes lots of animals sounds for you and your child to make together. These stories are great for building your child’s vocabulary, with simple, repetitive text to reinforce the words.
- After this, is the much-loved favourite nursery song, “Old MacDonald”. Enjoy making the animal noises together with your child as you sing along with the book. Onomatopoeic words are great for developing your child’s listening skills (also known as ‘phonological awareness’): a really important starting point for learning to read.
- This Pathway ends with two longer stories full of fun. In “This Book is Out of Control”, the characters communicate with a toy and with the reader, in a fast paced, enjoyable and chaotic story.
- The last book is “The Great Moon Confusion”, with important learning points about talking, asking questions and clear communication. Talk about what the characters do in the books, and how your child feels about them, to support your child’s developing comprehension skills.
- The stories and songs in this Pathway are interspersed with fun learning activities, focused on the letters ‘b’, ‘c’ and ‘d’. Your child is encouraged to learn the letters, hear and say the sounds, and trace their shapes. These activities support early literacy learning, as well as building fine motor control and eye to hand coordination.
Please note: Within the app we focus on the first few letters of the alphabet, to get your child used to the idea that letters make sounds, and that it is fun to learn their letter shapes. When your child starts school, they will learn to read and write all the letters of the alphabet, but in a different order, linked to the school’s phonics/reading scheme. Most phonics schemes start with the letters ‘s, a, t, p, i, n’.
Books from the app
You can buy some of the amazing picture books from the app below, so you can read them offline too. Or, explore some new titles together with our books to build communication and language!
A book behaving badly!
A funny and original high-concept picture book where the book itself interferes with what happens on the page. Ben has a remote-controlled fire engine but when he presses the buttons on the remote the engine doesn’t turn or spin or sound its siren. While Ben and Bella scratch their heads over this, strange things are happening to Bella’s dog. It’s only when Ben tries the VOICE button that Bella’s dog is able to speak, warning them that ‘This Book is Out of Control!’ It’s an interactive experience for the reader who ultimately has to help in restoring normality.
In the pine forest, there’s a perplexing puzzle. The moon is getting smaller every day and Rabbit wants to know why. She asks her friend Aldrin, the raccoon. Although he doesn’t have the answer to her question, Aldrin decides the issue needs a ‘proper investigation’. And, because he’s a bit of a know-it-all, over the course of the next few days, Aldrin dreams up a far-fetched explanation for the shrinking moon that points the finger of blame at two bumbling bears called Hubble and Lovell. In fact the bears turn out to be rather smart and it’s thanks to them that the other animals learn their first fun lesson in astronomy.
Join Aldrin and friends for a whodunit of astronomical proportions!
Activities for you to do at home
- The most important activity for building communication in the early years is ‘serve and return’ conversations. These conversations are how you build your child’s understanding of language, by replying to and building on what they say. Don’t try to give your child all the answers – use open-ended questions instead to encourage them to think for themselves. For instance, asking ‘I wonder why …’ or ‘I wonder what would happen if …’ or ‘How do you think we can find out …?’.
- Remember that communication is not just about talk and language. Use lots of gestures with your child, to help them understand what you say. Use exaggerated facial expressions, for instance scrunching up your face to show you are puzzled. If your child attends an early years setting, they might learn a sign language called ‘Makaton’. You could learn some of the signs too, so that you can ‘talk’ together with your child using gestures.
- When you’re out and about together, it’s an ideal opportunity to get talking. Encourage your child to give opinions and make decisions, to support their developing self-regulation skills. For instance, when shopping, ask your child which out of two foods they prefer you to buy. Talk about what you notice on packaging, to help your child understand that images and pictures communicate information. For example, spotting a cow on a milk container and talking about how this helps you understand it is milk from a cow.