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Language and Communication Use a growing vocabulary related to food  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


To name common foods and to start to sort them into simple categories.

Early years skill:Speaking
Early years typical range:22-36m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P6
TAP skill:Language Expression
TAP level:TAP36
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
Naming activity

Food pictures/model food

Real food - optional

Look at the food pictures/ model food and ask the child to name them.

Tell the child the name of any of the foods they do not know.

Talk about the foods and what they taste/ smell/feel/look like, when you eat them, etc.

If you can use real food, there may be opportunities for the child to taste different foods - this will make the activity more memorable.

Sorting activity

Food pictures/model food

Online resource: and

(for a nutrition bingo game).

Draw two large circles for sorting the foods between (e.g. for foods liked and disliked). For the healthy/unhealthy activity you could have two intersecting circles:

If possible, stick on a picture to represent each word in the circles.

Some children need to use the same vocabulary in a variety of activities to make sure they can generalise it - you can use the online resources to provide extra practice for those children who need it

Eating/Drinking vocabulary

Small amount of food and drink (e.g. half a cup of water and one grape or half a biscuit).

Pictures of a range of food and drinks.

Food and drink sorting circles. (Draw two large circles on paper, in one circle have a picture of someone eating and the word "eating" in the other have a picture of someone drinking and the word "drinking").

In some languages (such as the Sylheti dialect of Bengali) only one word is used for the actions that are called "eating" and "drinking" in English. Many children with language difficulties, and those whose home language is not English, may use the word "eating" to describe drinking (e.g. "baby eating milk").


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