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Talking Toddlers: Naming

Illustration of adult modelling what a child is doing

When your child points or shows you something, name the object.


Illustration of adult playing with child

Children often learn the names of things they are interested in, or the noise the object makes such as ‘beep beep’ for a car or ‘raaa’ for a dinosaur.

When your child is playing, name the thing they are looking at or playing with. This will help them make a link between the object and the word such as ‘car, brmm brmm’.

If they point to the same thing again –say it again!

Naming the object for your child instead of saying ‘what’s that?’ gives them a word to copy.

Illustration of adult interpreting child's speech

Keep your language simple so your child can focus on the important word. In this example, instead of saying ‘what’s that?’ you could say ‘bus’ or ‘broken’.

For more information please contact the Speech and Language Therapy Service on 0114 3053966/3053967.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: SL215

Resource Type: Article

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