Early Years

Table Talk for Early Years is a fun way to get younger children talking, exploring, having fun and spending quality time with others. It is designed to support good interactions between children and adults using words, imagination, body language, facial expressions, play, actions and songs.

Research shows that good interactions between adults and children make a big difference to how well communication and language skills develop. Children benefit from being with responsive and enthusiastic adults who show interest in talking and playing with them



In addition to the question cards, you can make a chatterbox and have some fun together! We have three templates for you to make your own chatterbox, to have fun and get talking together.



Table Talk for Early Years contains 6 categories, with 7 questions/pictures in each: Questions; Can You; Let’s; Nature; Shapes; Emojis.

With the ‘Question’, ‘Can You’ and ‘Let’s’ cards you can take it in turns to pick a card. Everyone can have a go at either answering the question or completing the instruction or activity.

The idea with the cards is not to have the right answers but encourage imagination and vocabulary, as well as help children express what they think and feel. The questions and suggestions are a starting point so you can substitute ideas for other animals, characters etc. if you want to. The ‘Emoji’ cards can be used to talk about feelings whilst the ‘Shape’ and ‘Nature’ cards can be used on a scavenger hunt around the home, on a walk or whilst on a journey.

Ideas for using Emoji cards

  1. Pick an emotion and ask ‘what makes you happy, or what makes you sad?’
  2. Place the emoji cards on a table and ask them to find a specific face. You could then ask them questions around the various faces like; ‘what makes you laugh, worried, happy, sad’
  3. You could use the cards to help your child express how they are feeling about something to start a conversation with them.

Ideas for using Shape cards

  1. Place the Shape cards face up and ask them to identify which shape is which as you call them out.
  2. Place the Shape cards in a pile face up and ask them to tell you what shape is on the top card in the pile, then remove that card and do the same for the next one. The shapes are different colours, so you could ask them to name the colours too.
  3. Get them to choose a Shape card and go on a hunt for things that are the same shape or colour.

Ideas for using Nature cards

  1. Take the cards on a walk, or into a garden, and pick one card at a time. See if they can find what is on the picture. You might be able to collect some things to make a picture later.
  2. You could place the cards face up and ask them what each one is, and where you might find them, or what they are for.
  3. Take the picture with the sky and ask them to look at the sky. What can they see?