Wonder Words

An innovative behaviour change campaign

Helping families to talk, sing and play more with their babies and toddlers

Boosting early language development at home

By the time they start school, some children will have heard millions fewer words than their peers. For families who are struggling financially, long working hours and high stress levels can get in the way of early language development. With less exposure to books and educational days out, children from the poorest backgrounds are at risk of falling behind before they have even entered the education system. Many will struggle to ever catch up.

Wonder Words aims to build positive interactions between parents and children to help close this achievement gap. Simply by talking, playing and singing together, families can help their children learn more words, which is critical to their success when they start school and in later life. Not just that: talking more can help families to communicate better, have fun together and create lasting change in their children’s lives.


Mother Erin with her baby Catherine, aged 24 weeks.

How Wonder Words works

Wonder Words uses approaches drawn from behavioural science to develop ‘nudges’ that make it easier for parents and carers to support their child’s language development. We’re developing and testing different ways of giving parents frequent, engaging and timely prompts to chat more with children, using baby products, digital solutions, social media and popular brands.

The programme has been developed by Save the Children and the National Literacy Trust in response to their shared vision that every child in the UK should have the language and communication skills needed to succeed in life.

Find out more about the journey so far and keep up to date with news and blogs on our dedicated Wonder Words website.


How you can help

If you’re interested in supporting children’s early language development, we would love to hear from you. We have big ambitions for Wonder Words and we’d welcome hearing from organisations that could work with us to make them a reality.

If you are a retailer, designer, digital developer, innovator, marketing expert or another organisation that could help us to create early language nudges, please get in touch at wonderwords@savethechildren.org.uk.


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