Early Years Therapies Toolkit

Our Early Years Toolkits provides helpful advice and guidance on techniques that you can try at home with your child to help with any difficulties related to Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

The Early Years Toolkit is appropriate for children aged 0 – 4. If your child is at school, you can look at our School Aged Toolkit.

The Early Years Therapies Tookit

There are a number of activities and strategies that you can try at home to help and support your child – please take a look at the advice sheets below and download the ones that are applicable to your child.


Welcome to Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service Toolkit for children aged 0 – 4. This toolkit has been designed to support families, carers and professionals who have concerns about a child’s development. It provides a greater understanding of development, when to be concerned and how to help and focuses on difficulties that fall within the expertise of Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

Many children will show difficulties at some point in their development but most will progress without the need for a referral to us with the right environment and time with the child using simple strategies may find them help to promote this.

A small proportion of children and young people will go on to require additional specialist support – and we can provide this. This area will help you identify where you can help and where specialist help may be required.

Read more about Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy

expected development and how to help

Your baby will develop in their own unique way and at their own pace. Their brain develops rapidly during the first three years of life and the interactions they have with the people and the world around them at this time play an important part in their development now and in the future. The information in the documents below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect, but you shouldn’t worry if your child takes a slightly different course.

The advice sheets below are ordered in age and contain information on typical development for their age, what to look out for in your child and which toolkits to access below if there are concerns.

                                      0 – 6 months >   6 – 12 months >   12 – 18 months > 

18 – 24 months >   2 – 3 years >   3 – 4 years >

communication advice sheets

First sounds and first words >
Sentence building >
Attention and listening >
Speech sounds >
Stammering >

physical skills advice sheets

Developing cutlery skills >
Developing pre-writing skills >
Sensory processing >
Encouraging new foods >
Developing balance skills >
Developing dressing skills >
Developing hand skills >
Developing motor skills – rolling and sitting >
Fun ways to play >
Learning to ride a tricycle >
Potty training >
Sleep >
Standing and walking >
Tummy time >
Using both hands >


(External links)

Therapists talk about Visual Support >

Therapists talk about Speech Sounds >
Therapists talk about Speech Sounds Blending >
Let’s play: supporting early interaction and communication >
Through the eyes of a child >

Therapist talk about one information carrying words – Helping your child to understand language

Therapists talk about two information carrying words – Helping your child to understand language

Therapists talk about three information carrying words – Helping your child to understand language

other advice

Equipment and adaptations >
Car safety >
(External links)
CBeebies – Using signs and symbols to communicate >
CBeebies – Advice on speech and language difficulties >
CBeebies – Does your child have Autism? >
Talking Point – Helping children and young babies learn skills for talking >
Talking Point – How children learn to talk from birth to 5
Email dcsf@prolog.uk.com for free handbook for dads and mums
Information on ICAN (children’s communication charity) helpline >