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Ready for school tips 0 to 18 months

Tips for parents and carers to talk together, play together and have fun together for babies aged 0 to 18 months old.

How you respond and talk to your baby can make a big difference to the way they will learn how words and sentences work.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Early morning 'wake up'

Tap and clap along together to favourite songs and stories so your child can play with the rhythm.


Point, mime and talk about what your child is doing. Tell simple stories after breakfast, lunch and dinner using toys or picture books. Add quiet voices, squeaky voices and other sounds to the stories.

Out and about

Stop and move to the front of the pushchair. Play a 'look what I can see' game of pointing and talking. Pointing helps your child make sense of words.

Play time

Get down to a level where your child can see your face easily. Talk about and copy your child's facial expressions. Name the things your baby is reaching for, looking at or holding. Do this every time. Sing rhymes and songs over and over again throughout the day.

Bath time

Babble together in the bathroom or play a game of saying favourite words or sounds down a cardboard tube (the echo will make it more fun).


Have a bedtime story. Pause and wait a moment in the middle of the story and let your child try to join in.

For more ideas talk to your health visitor, children’s centre, nursery or school about Derbyshire ECaT: Every Child a Talker.

UK physical activity guidelines factsheets for children are available from GOV.UK.