Summer challenge launched to help under-fives develop speech skills
Families across Wales are being encouraged to take part in a summer challenge to boost children’s communication skills
The seven-week challenge which aims to improve young children’s speech, language, and communication skills has been launched by the Welsh Government on Facebook.
The Get Talking Summer Challenge invites parents and carers to get to grips with everyday activities which can help young children develop key skills for learning and playing over the summer holidays, and help those who are returning to nursery or school in September.
The challenge has been developed by the Welsh Government’s Talk With Me campaign, which provides speech, language, and communication (SLC) advice to parents and those caring for children aged five and under.
One challenge each week has been designed by child speech and language experts to help children develop their vocabulary, build sentences, and express themselves.
The challenges can be completed in as little as five minutes every day, and include turning household chores and routines into fun games, as well as making the most out of sharing stories, singing nursery rhymes, and playing together.
With coronavirus restrictions having disrupted school, nursery and childcare attendance since the start of the pandemic, and limited the time children have had to interact with others, the challenge aims to show parents how easy it is to give their children’s communication skills a boost, including for those who will return to school or nursery after the summer break.
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said: “The summer holidays can be a great opportunity for some families to be able to spend more time with their children, and simple things like singing rhymes, looking at books, and talking face-to-face can work wonders for helping little ones learn.
“Many families are already doing most of the activities we are encouraging, but taking part in the Get Talking Challenge is a great way of getting into a routine of doing these things for as little as five minutes a day, which will go a long way in helping children develop really important skills.
“The past two years has been tough on some families and particularly young children, who have often not been able to go to school or nursery as regularly as they would have liked, and in some cases their communication skills will have suffered as a result.
“But getting to grips with how to help give them a great head start this summer will set them up for a fantastic year ahead.”
The Get Talking Challenge launched last Friday on Talk With Me’s Facebook page, and a new challenge will be set every Friday of the summer holidays.
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