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Language and Communication use single words signs or symbols 1  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Pupils use a range of single words, gesture, signs, or symbols for familiar objects and actions.

Early years skill:Speaking
Early years typical range:8-20m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P4
TAP skill:Language Expression
TAP level:TAP24
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
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) symbols

Child will exchange a PECS symbol for a desired item e.g. food or high interest toy.

Put out a desirable food item or toy and a symbol to represent it. Help the child give you the symbol for the item and then allow the child to take the item. When the child takes the item say, for example ' want biscuit.'

PECS is a special process and help from a trained Speech and Language Therapist to set up the process is essential.

Give the child time

Use very little language

The child is rewarded for handing over the symbol by getting the desired item

Dressing game with soft toys and clothing items

Use toy clothes and a teddy/dolly. Put the teddy in front of the child and a choice of two clothing items e.g. hat and shoes. Say' Teddy wants shoes.' Help the child to select shoes and allow the child to dress the teddy or help if needed. Repeat 'Teddy's'.

Continue with different clothing items. 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!

Tea party with soft toys and plastic food
Bathing teddy and dolly

Washable toys

Wash cloths


Shaving foam

Drying towel

Plastic animals and a toy house or farm
Language Steps Programme for learning single words


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