As you know our children are big time sponges! They try to do everything we do, imitate actions of items, etc. Our motto is let them be little and use their imagination. You don’t always need toys for imaginative play – you can use your own body! With this increased pretend play will come more sound effects, language, and more! Here are some beginning actions you can encourage your child to imitate:
– Spreading both arms out and flying like a plane
– Making a “wheel” with both hands and pretending to drive
– Making an L with your arm and going “choo choo” around the room
– Putting your head on a pillow and pretending to sleep while snoring
– Putting your fist up to your ear and pretending it’s a phone
– Bending down and jumping around like a frog
– Spinning around like a wheel
– Blowing on “hot food” Making a “cup” with your hand and pretending to drink
– Making a pincer grasp with your finger and pretending to eat food off the table
Many children like Roman are very responsive to the beats of music! We always encourage parents to use music as a means to teach language. It is always wise to take something that is already motivating to teach a skill that is new. There are many ways you can use music to do this… check them out below!
Turn up the Music – Carve out a certain time of day where you turn the music… you can even use a good old-fashioned radio (we know how obsessed kids are with technology these days so it’s a good way to avoid smart phones or tablets). Whether it be morning, noon, or night have a dance party – it lets them create their own moves and get out a ton of energy! Let their imagination run wild!
Use Dancing to work on Imitation – During your dance parties or the classes you attend, dancing is the perfect opportunity to imitate motor actions. Imitation is the basis for speech! For example, you can target raising shoulders, clapping hands, raising arms, spinning, raising the roof, and much more.
Using Consistent Music – We of course recommend exposing your child to new music, but there is a huge benefit in playing the same songs! This way your child really gets to know the rhythm and lyrics… it becomes ingrained in them. The more they hear the same song the more likely they will begin singing along. For example, after a hundred times of singing “The Wheels on the Bus” your child may finally imitate or approximate “round and round”.
Create your own songs – If there is a melody that your child is familiar with you can replace the words/lyrics and sing your own song. We often use familiar songs such as “Wheels on the Bus”, “Twinkle Twinkle”, etc. For instance, we may say “The wheels on the car go round and round”. The kids recognize the melody and are more likely to join in and sing a duet!
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