Toys' tea-party

This game uses everyday words and sentences and is great for encouraging imaginative play.

Everyday situations, like mealtimes, are really useful in learning to talk and extending sentences to include a range of words. This toys' tea party replicates a mealtime.

Arrange a tea party with a doll, teddy bear and any other appropriate toys. Have a plastic cup, plate, fork and spoon for each toy and each person at the tea party. Use pretend food and drink or real, healthy food.

Encourage your child to ask each toy what they'd like to eat or drink. Answer on behalf of the toy to get the toy to 'speak' to the child.

Demonstrate the kind of questions to ask, e.g. "What would you like to drink, Teddy?" When the child asks a question, reinforce it by repeating it or extending it. For example, if the child says "Drink Teddy?", say "Would you like a big drink, Teddy?"

Too difficult? Model what to say, e.g. give out some of the cups, saying to each toy "A cup for you". Then give the child the rest of the cups and encourage them to say the same.

Too easy? Encourage the child to help organise who else can come to the party. Who will Dolly sit next to? Where shall Teddy sit? Who is behind/in front of/ beside whom?