Development of speech, language and communication

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What to expect

5 years

A child of 5 will usually acquire the following as part of their speech and language development:


  • Fluent speech which is fully understandable to others.
  • Well-formed sentences.
  • Can explain the meaning of simple words.
  • Ability to rhyme e.g. ‘cow / now'.
  • Enjoys being read or told stories and will act them out for friends.
  • Constantly wanting to know the meaning of abstract words.
  • Likes riddles and jokes.
  • Matches colours.
  • Copies simple shapes and some letters.
  • Draws a detailed person.
  • Able to write own name.
  • Able to complete projects.

Play and social

  • More sensible, controlled and independent behaviour.
  • Able to plan and build constructively.
  • Understands fair play and need for rules.
  • Shows sense of humour.
  • Cooperative with play mates, chooses own friends.
  • Understanding and appreciation of time in relation to daily routine.

Eating, drinking and swallowing

  • Eats the same food as adults.

If you have any concerns regarding your child's development of their speech and language and would like to book an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists, please contact us by emailing or calling 0330 0885 643.

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Next steps

To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email


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We're registered

All our speech and language therapists are registered with the RCSLT and the HCPC

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