Happy Learners - Speech, Language and Communication Development

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Social Interaction & Play Milestones

All children develop at different rates and so reaching milestones slower or faster than peers does not necessarily mean that there is a concern. Differences of up to 12 months are very normal. However, it can help to identify areas where a child may warrant some additional support particularly when more than 18 months off a chronological milestone.

Development of Social Interaction & Play

Social Interaction


12 months

Reacts appropriately to happy or cross tones in adult voice

Shows affection to family

Will share attention through pointing and verbal sounds

Repeats actions for stimulus and enjoyment

24 months

Wants to investigate and discover

Engages in verbal turn-taking

Able to pretend to do things such as drink from a toy cup

Happy to play next to other children

36 months

Affectionate towards siblings

Understands sharing

Can show they are listening in a conversation

Vivid make believe play

Connects pretend play into sequences

May involve other children

48 months

Seeking friendship

Can state simple emotions

Some co-operative play with peers

5 years

Able to negotiate and manipulate through promises, threats and insults

Can be protective of younger children

Generally able to play games cooperatively

You may also find the following pages useful:

Developing Listening

Speech and Language Needs Leading To Behaviour Issues

Vocabulary Development