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Language and Communication understanding of familiar object names  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Pupils show an understanding of names of familiar objects.

Early years skill:Understanding
Early years typical range:8-20m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Listening
P-scales/Curriculum level:P4
TAP skill:Understanding of Language/Comprehension
TAP level:TAP24
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Hungry animal

Teddy (or doll, or monster etc);

Play food (or objects - especially if you have a monster which can eat anything!)

Put out two or more food items or objects.

Make the animal ask for something, e.g. 'apple'. The child has to find the correct item to feed the animal.

If the child picks up the wrong item, the animal shakes its head and refuses to eat it. If they pick the right item, the animal makes a big show of eating it.

Posting games

Pictures of everyday objects, post box

Have two to four pictures of objects spread out in front of the child. Say or sign the name of one of the pictures for the child to post.

In a small group: each child can have one or two pictures in front of them. If their picture is called out they put it in the post box.

To make it easier: use a sign or gesture; reduce the number of cards the child needs to look at.


Lotto boards with four (or more) pictures on, set of picture cards corresponding to the pictures on the boards. (The lotto boards can consist of black and white photocopies of the colour picture cards).

Each child has a lotto board. Go through the pictures on each board with the children to start with. Shuffle the colour pictures, pick up one at a time and without showing the children, say or say and sign what is on the picture. The children must see if the picture is on their board and call out if they have the picture. They can then cover their board with the colour picture.

Signs will help the children understand the words.

If the child calls out when they don't have the picture on their board, show them that the picture won't match to any on their board.

'Hide the fish'

Eight picture cards, small piece of paper with a fish drawn on it

The child hides a piece of paper (with a picture of a fish on it) under one of the cards whilst everyone else has their eyes closed. You and the other children guess under which card the fish is hidden by saying/signing the name of the picture.

A sign will help the child to understand the word. At first you may need to point to pictures to help the child know which one you are talking about.

Fishing game

Pictures with paper clips attached, magnetic fishing rods, 'pond' e.g. a flat box

Put cards in the box, the children take turns to fish out specific pictures that you ask for.

Dressing game with soft toys and clothing items

Soft toys such as a teddy;

Clothing items to go on the toys.

1. Use toy clothes and a teddy/dolly.

2. Put the teddy in front of the child and a choice of two clothing items e.g. hat and shoes.

3. Say 'Teddy wants shoes.'

4. Help the child to select shoes and allow the child to dress the teddy or help if needed.

5. Repeat 'Teddy's shoes'.

6. Continue with different clothing items.

7. When the child is familiar with some clothing names give the child more items of clothing to choose from.

Some times it is physically easier to take cloths off than to put them on - adapt the game for taking off!

Have fun with this game!

See also

For further activities, see also "understand single words" on

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