On standard readings of Grice, Gricean communication requires (a) possession of a concept of belief, (b) the ability to make complex inferences about others’ goal-directed behaviour, and (c) the ability to entertain fourth-order metarepresentations. To the extent that these abilities are pre-requisites of Gricean communication, they are inconsistent with the view that Gricean communication could play a role in their development. In this paper, I argue that a class of ‘minimally Gricean’ acts satisfy the intentional structure described by Grice, but require none of abilities (a)–(c). As a result, Gricean communicative abilities may indeed contribute to the development of (a)–(c)—in particular, by enabling language development. This conclusion has important implications for our theorizing about cognitive development.