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Making meaning in everyday situations - teaching demonstration

How educators can use caregiving, routines, transitions, and other everyday situations to engage children in language-rich interactions.

This video explores how educators can use care giving, routines, transitions, and other everyday situations to engage children in language-rich interactions.

The educators describe and demonstrate strategies for embedding opportunities for language and communication in these situations.

Watch on Vimeo: Making meaning in everyday solutions (opens in new window)External Link

Reflective practice


  • The examples of topics and concepts embedded within interactions.
  • The ways that educators encourage children to communicate verbally and non-verbally.
  • The ways that educators created numerous opportunities for talk and interaction during these situations.
  • The ways that educators narrate their own, and children’s actions (self-talk and parallel talk).
  • The educators’ use of conversational (not just instructional) language.

Reflection questions

  • What practical strategies do the educators describe or demonstrate in the video?
  • How do the educators alternate between guided and adult-led learning in this video?
  • How do educators help children to take an active role in everyday situations?
  • From their explanations, in what way do the educators in this video think about everyday situations?
  • What are some of the perceived benefits of using language in everyday situations?
  • How do these views compare with your approach to everyday situations like nappy changes, mealtimes, and other transitions/routines?
  • What are some situations from your own setting, where language and interactions could be embedded?
  • Consider what strategies could be used to enable reciprocal, engaging interactions in these everyday situations in your setting.

Learning experience


  • interacting with others
  • early communicators and early language users (birth – 36 months)
  • learning foci: making meaning and expressing ideas (interacting with others), grammar
  • teaching practices: language in everyday situations, language stimulation.

Group size

Individuals, small group or medium-sized group (if appropriate).

Outcome 5: communication

  • Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
  • engage in enjoyable reciprocal interactions using verbal and non-verbal language
  • respond verbally and non-verbally to what they see, hear, touch, feel and taste
  • are independent communicators who initiate Standard Australian English and home language conversations, and demonstrate the ability to meet the listener’s needs

General strategies demonstrated in video

  • Allow children to play an active role in everyday situations, by creating opportunities for choices and interactions about the routines.
  • Think of some key language concepts that are embedded within interactions, for example:
    • size, shape, colour, object names, people, action words and other descriptive words.
  • Use open-ended questions to encourage children to interact in a conversational (and not just instructional) way during everyday situations.

Going further

Everyday situation experiences can be extended by:

  • allowing children to take on more responsibility during transitions and routines (where possible)
  • providing resources for children to explore concepts from everyday situations in sociodramatic play (for example play cooking, play eating, caring for toy babies)
  • encouraging children to participate in fine arts experiences that create resources to display in key areas for everyday situations (for example play spaces, eating area, sleeping area, nappy change area). These can help spark more discussion and interaction in these situations.


Experience plans

Reviewed 14 April 2023

Literacy teaching toolkit for early childhood

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