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By the age of one a baby should:

  • Respond to familiar sounds such as the telephone ringing, the vacuum cleaner or a car in the drive way

  • Turn to and engage in noises and eye contact with others

  • Take turns in vocalising with others.

  • Be able to imitate some early sounds and actions (eg. “mmmm” for a car, clap hands)

  • Understand simple commands such as ‘no’, “Come here”

  • Recognise their own name when called.

  • Responds to others and uses appropriate gestures  (eg wave for “bye”, hands up to request to be picked up.)

  • Babble using a range of consonant and vowels by reduplicating the same syllable (eg.” mumum, bubub, dadad”) and also a variety of sound in sequences (eg bugudadugee)

  • Say ‘dad’, ‘mumma’ and beginning to say one or two words (eg “taa”, ”ball”)

  • Enjoy songs, music & books

  • Try to make familiar sounds such as animal noises

By the age of two a toddler should:

  • Understand and say the names of simple body parts (eg. head, mouth, nose)

  • Recognises most common object names (eg car, ball, book, dog, baby)

  • Can recognise objects in pictures ( eg. Dog, ball, banana)

  • Understand a number of everyday action words  (eg. “Sit, walk, run, sleep, eat”)

  • Listen to stories & say the names of pictures.

  • Understand simple sentences, such as ‘Where’s your shoe?’

  • Use more than 60 words (e.g. no, more gone, teddy)

  • Sing simple songs such as ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’

  • Use some pronouns instead of names, such as  “me’, my , it”.

  • Say and imitate simple 2-3 word sentences such as “daddy drink” ‘milk all gone’, ‘daddy go sleep

  • Be saying words with clear vowels and be starting to put consonants on the ends of words eg. “man”, “hat”

  • Be able to say the sounds “b,d,m,n,w,h,t,p” correctly at least some of the time. ( eg. “baby, no, dad, pop, hi”)

NB. Words and speech are not always easy for others to understand

By the age of three a child should be able to:

  • Understand how objects are used (eg. If you ask “Which one do you drive” your child should be able to select or say “car”

  • Recognise their own needs and request for these (eg. "I want drink’.)

  • Understand smaller body parts  (eg. Chin, shoulder, eyebrow)

  • Understand some early prepositions (eg. “in, on, off, under”

  • Understand word categories. (eg. Show me all the toys.)

  • Follow directions that have 3 key words (eg. Put the sock on the bed.)

  • Understand some early descriptive concepts or adjectives (eg. “hot, big, little, cold, empty, same”)

  • Know some colours and shapes

  • Use at least 3 to 5 word sentences.

  • Begins to ask questions eg. “What’s that? Where’s my shoe? Who’s there?”

  • Begin to use basic grammar eg. I jumping.It’s a bike.

  • Beginning to understand and use some pronouns such as “I, him, her, he, she” but not always correctly eg. Him sleeping.

  • Enjoy telling stories & asking questions

  • Have favourite books & television programs

  • Be understood by familiar adults/

  • Begin to say sounds “f,k,g” in words correctly

By the age of four a child should be able to:

  • Understand shape & colour names well.

  • Understands a range of prepositions (eg. “in, on, off, behind, infront, next to”)

  • Understand a range of concepts such as “long, short, empty, full, same, different”

  • Understand some time words such as ‘lunchtime’, ‘today’ and ‘winter’

  • Ask who, what and why questions

  • Use lots of words about 900, usually in longer sentences with grammar.

  • Begin to use past tense  (eg. “He went home. I saw it. He jumped.”)

  • Use correct grammar with occasional mistakes such as ‘ I falled down’

  • Use pronouns such as “he, she, him, her, they” correctly. (eg.”They are eating”.)

  • Use copula and auxiliary verbs such as “am, is, are” consistently (eg “He is falling”.)

  • Use language when playing with other children.

  • Be able to say “s,l,sh,ch,j” correctly.

  • Speak clearly enough to be understood by most people.

  • Understand opposites such as “high & low, wet & dry, first & last”

  • Understand quantity concepts such as “three, five”, most, whole, half

  • Understand instructions that contain “before, after, or, except”

  • Use sentences of about 6 words with additional correct grammar

  • Talk about events that are happening, have happened or might happen

  • Use present tense ( eg.”He sits down”),  past tense (eg. “He sat down”)  and  future tense (eg.” He will sit down”.) correctly. NB. Not all irregular past tense words will be used correctly eg “He standed up”.

  • Explain why something happens, such as ‘Mum’s car stopped because the petrol ran out’

  • Explain the function of an object e.g. This plane flies high.

  • Follow three directions, for example, ‘Stand up, get your shoes on and wait by the door’

  • Say how they feel and tell their ideas

  • Become interested in writing, numbers and reading things

  • Be able to rhyme words.  Eg “Bed rhymes with….Ted”)

  • Be able to recognise the beginning sound (phoneme) of a word.  (Eg. “Ball starts with a …”b”)

  • Be able to say most consonant sounds correctly when speaking perhaps with the exception of “r,th,v”

  • Speak clearly enough to be understood by anyone

  • Use adjectives to describe objects and people. (Eg. “He is a happy boy”. “The book is broken”.)

By the age of five a child should be able to:

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