"Empowering Communication: The Power of Visuals and Choices in Early Childhood Development"

Getting Visuals right for your child is so important. It easy to 'use visuals' but a skills to use visuals well.


Today, we delve into the fundamental aspects of early childhood development – choices and visuals. At Can Do, we prioritise these elements as integral components in nurturing a child's ability to communicate effectively. In this blog post, we'll explore the significance of visuals and choices, providing you with practical insights to incorporate them into your child's learning journey.

Visuals: Bridging the Gap in Language Development

Visual aids play a crucial role in enhancing language development, especially for children facing challenges in this area. While language often develops through auditory channels, incorporating visuals strengthens neural connections, making memories more accessible. Let's explore some effective visual tools:

  1. Objects: For younger children, tangible objects serve as excellent visuals. Offering a nappy before changing time or a spoon before a meal provides a clear association between the object and the upcoming activity. Additionally, objects can be used to present choices, fostering neural connections as words are linked with corresponding items.
  2. Photographs: Group two and three children benefit from photographs that offer more specific representations. Whether choosing between a yogurt or a chocolate pudding or understanding a sequence of events through pictures, this visual medium enhances comprehension and anticipation.
  3. Signing: Utilising natural gestures and signs can aid in communication without the need for formal signing systems. While signing has its benefits in comprehension and attention, the key is to make communication easy for both you and your child, emphasising consistency in your gestures.
  4. Symbols: Moving beyond pictures, symbols or PECs symbols (Picture Exchange Communication System) serve as representations of objects. Ideal for groups three and four children, these symbols contribute to comprehension and play, emphasising that images can symbolise real-world items.

It's essential to introduce visuals gradually, to avoid overwhelming your child. Consistency is key, and finding the right balance ensures that visuals effectively support your child's learning experience.

Choices: Empowering Communication Through Control

Giving children choices not only empowers them but also fosters intentional communication. Understanding the developmental stages is crucial when implementing choices:

  1. Early Stages (Group One and Two): In the initial stages, a child's choice-making may be unintentional. As they look at the desired option, respond as if they made a deliberate choice. This encourages the child to realise that their actions lead to a response, transitioning unintentional communication to intentional communication.
  2. Advanced Stages (Group Three and Four): As children progress, offering choices becomes a powerful tool. It allows them to assert control over their environment and expands conversational turns. From selecting clothing to deciding on activities, choices contribute to language development and communication skills.


Incorporating visuals and choices into your child's routine can significantly enhance their communication skills. As you reflect on the visuals you currently use and consider new additions, also think about the choices you can offer throughout the day. By embracing the Can Do approach – gently stretching and building – you'll create an environment where your child can thrive, communicate effectively, and enjoy the learning process. Have fun exploring these strategies and watch as your child blossoms into a confident communicator!

Categories: : visuals