Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999.

How to use choice boards to support speech and language development

Woman smiling at young boy both sat at a table
  • Date published:

  • Author: oliverkyle

A choice board contains symbols, pictures or photos of things a child may want to ask for. This could include things such as toys and food.

Your child can communicate what they want by looking at, pointing to it or using words to request what they want. A choice board is useful for children who find spoken language difficult to understand or remember, and for children who find it difficult to get their message across.

Choice boards support a child to be more independent, as they can make decisions themselves about what they would like, rather than an adult making the choice for them.

Some choice boards contain options like ‘more’, ‘finished’ and ‘go’, which can be used to extend your child’s communication to combine two choices together; e.g. “finished bubbles” or “more juice”. These options are more challenging for a child to understand as they do not relate to an actual object. For some children, using just one choice at a time will be easier.

Choice boards can be used in lots of different situations. You might want to start at snack time or to support a child to choose a toy. You can use them throughout the day to support your child to make choices.

These following videos show you how choice boards can be used at snack time and during play. Remember you will have to model/show how to use the choice board before the child will be able to use it themselves. Watch how the adults point to and name the options before supporting the child to make their choice.

Example choice boards

When introducing a choice board to a child, you might want to start with just two options, which are quite different to one another.

2 option choice board2 option snack choice board

Over time, you could add more options.

6 toy choice board 6 toy choice board

Eventually, you might want to try some more complex symbols like ‘more’, ‘finished’ and ‘go’. Remember, these are harder and won’t be suitable for all children.

12 option choice board

Download your choice boards