In the past few decades, research has revealed the important role played by gesture and how it complements verbal language in all forms of face-to-face communication. The purpose of this study is to observe the role of gesture in communication strategies between teachers and their pupils from 2.6 to 6 years old. Special attention is paid to the importance the teachers in our sample gave to the expressive potential of gesture in the context of some basic types of communication ploys aimed at developing the children's language and communication skills. The analysis is both qualitative and quantitative: the former is focused on the formal and functional relationships between teachers' linguistic and gestural strategies within four specific didactic ploys (expanding, focussing, confirming, correcting); the latter has the aim of evaluating the quantitative incidence of the gestures produced by the teachers within each of their specific didactic ploys. The results highlight not only the great importance teachers attach to the gesture input they give children, but also the careful attention they pay to children's gestures.