Using Routines to Learn Language

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Daily Routines

Daily routines are called just that because they happen almost every day. That means there is an opportunity for your child to hear the same words every day. Let’s think of some key words that you could emphasise during daily routines for your child to hear and learn.

Bed time: book, bed, night, sleep, cuddle.

Bath time: Bath, bubbles, wash, splash, dry.

Mealtimes: Eat, drink, yummy, open, more, finished.


Most children have a song that they love to listen to over and over again. Let’s use this to give them opportunities to use new words over and over again. Once a song is familiar and predictable to a child you can pause to give them an opportunity to say the word. For example in ring-a-rosie you might sing “a tissue a tissue we all fall ____(pause)”. When you pause look expectantly at your child. The more you do this the more they will understand that the pause is an opportunity for them to take a turn in the interaction- whether it be with gesture, sound or word.


Forget the rules of how to read a book! You don’t need to read every word or go from start to finish. Sit face to face with your child and let them take the lead. They will often open to any page and point to the pictures that interest them. You can use this to model new and relevant words e.g. if they point to a picture of a mouse you can say “mouse. It’s a mouse!”. Give it a go and see how much longer your child stays in the interaction!

Now we’ve learnt how to encourage language development is there anything you should avoid when your child is learning language?

Post By Kate Webster – Speech Pathologist

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