FROM BECKY: Show them how it’s done! Modelling how to use language in a communicative and appropriate way is a clear and visual example for your children to process and learn how to do it for themselves.

Yesterday, I was working with my good friend David who I volunteer with. I was doing a dual session with another Son-Rise Child Facilitator (Holly Balls). The game that David was playing with us was swing ride in a blanket. He would easily come out with “Ride” and “Swing Ride” whenever we would stop the game, even though he is very capable of saying a longer sentence (e.g. “I want swing ride”, “Give me a swing ride”, etc).

Right now, one of David’s interests is drawings of cut out paper animals. To help him with his spontaneous language, Holly and I took one of the paper animals and swung it in a piece paper to act as a blanket. We gave the animal several rides as David watched and then in a comical voice we had the animal say “I want swing ride”, to which we cheered and immediately gave another ride to this paper animal.

Then we turned to David who was sitting in the blanket ready for a ride, with that, David then came out with “I want swing ride”. He did this all by himself purely by watching the whole process being modelled by one of his friends, the paper animal.

This also works with conversational skills. Experiment with modelling to your child how to have a conversation. Try using puppets, figurines, and even another family member/Facilitator as you are transitioning in and out of the playroom.

Have fun!