By 6 months, usually children will:
* Turn towards a sound when they hear it.
* Be startled by loud noises.
* Watch your face when you talk to them.
* Recognise your voice.
* Smile and laugh when other people smile and laugh.
* Make sounds to themselves, like cooing, gurgling and babbling. * Make noises, like coos or squeals, to get your attention. * Have different cries for different needs. For example one cry for hunger, another when they are tired. 6 months – 1 year
By 1 year, usually children will:
* Listen carefully, and turn to someone talking on the other side of the room. * Look at you when you speak and when their name is called. * Babble strings of sounds, like ‘no-no’ and ‘go-go’. * Make noises, point and look at you to get your attention. * Smile at people who are smiling at them.
* Start to understand words like 'bye-bye' and 'up' especially when a gesture is used at the same time. * Recognise the names of familiar objects, things like ‘car’ and ‘daddy’. * Enjoy action songs and rhymes and get excited when sung to. * Take turns in conversations, babbling back to an adult. 12 – 18 Months
At this stage, children will start to use language in a more recognisable way. They will also become more sociable. By 18 months, usually children will:
* Enjoy games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake and toys that make a noise. * Start to understand a few simple words, like ‘drink’, ‘shoe’ and ‘car’. Also simple instructions like 'kiss mummy', 'kick ball' and 'give me'. * Point to things when asked, like familiar people and objects such as ‘book’ and ‘car’. * Use up to 20 simple words, such as 'cup', 'daddy' and 'dog'. These words may not always be easily recognised by unfamiliar adults. * Gesture or point, often with words or sounds to show what they want. * Copy lots of things that adults say and gestures that they make. * Start to enjoy simple pretend play, for example pretending to talk on the phone. 18 to 24 months
At this stage, children try out new things and explore the world around them more actively. They will often choose their own activities and may not always like being told what to do. By 2 years, usually children will:
* Concentrate on activities for longer, like playing with a particular toy. * Sit and listen to simple stories with pictures.
* Understand between 200 and 500 words.
* Understand more simple questions and instructions. For example 'where is your shoe?' and 'show me your nose'. * Copy sounds and words a lot.
* Use 50 or more single words. These will also become more recognisable to others. * Start to put short sentences together with 2-3 words, such as ‘more juice’ or ‘bye nanny’. * Enjoy pretend play with their toys, such as feeding dolly. * Use a limited number of sounds in their words – often these are p, b, t, d, m and w. Children will also often miss the ends off words at this stage. They can usually be understood about half of the time. 2 to 3 years
By 3 years usually children will:
* Listen to and remember simple stories with pictures.
* Understand longer instructions, such as 'make teddy jump' or 'where's mummy's coat?' * Understand simple 'who', 'what' and 'where' questions. * Use up to 300 words.
* Put 4 or 5 words together to make short sentences, such as 'want more juice' or ‘he took my ball’. * Ask lots of questions. They will want to find out the name of things and learn new words. * Use action words as well as nouns, such as ‘run’ and ‘fall’. * Start to use simple plurals by adding ‘s’, for example ‘shoes’ or ‘cars’. * Use a wider range of speech sounds. However, many children will shorten longer words, such as saying ‘nana’ instead of ‘banana’. They may also have difficulty...