When reading about play in young children, most literature will say “follow your child’s lead.” It’s often a lot harder to do than it seems. At Bringing Therapy Home, here is what we encourage families to do when playing with their little ones: Wait but actively watch them (stand back and see what your child is interested in playing with). Then, wait again – sometimes, a child will pick up a toy and immediately move to another toy. By waiting, you are allowing your child to learn and discover what grabs their interests the most. This is what is tricky about waiting … it often means the adult is quiet. Just watch for a few moments. Then, as your child is playing with the toy, enter the play and start playing with a similar object. Try narrating what you are doing – For example, if you are playing with a farm set, you could say, “I’m going to feed the cows.” The best part about following your child’s lead – they determine the play activity and how long the activity lasts. As a parent/adult, during play, it’s
common to ask a lot of questions. Make it a goal to not ask any questions. Just sit with your child and play. There is such beauty in play – when you follow your child’s lead, you’ll experience it.
~Marena Mitchell, Speech-Language Pathologist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist