Let’s play “The Look! Look! Game”™!
Playing the “The Look! Look! Game” invites your child to practice making language sounds. The game encourages him to say and act out words with you. It can also help him learn two important position words: up and down.
Position words hold value as your child is learning oral language––talking to communicate. Position words also play an important part later on in his reading and writing successes. That’s why, from time to time, we’ll focus on these and other position words––modeling tips for you, your child’s 1st best teacher.
Here’s how to play The Look! Look! Game with a focus on up and down. Say and act out this little poem:
I look up. (Look up)
I look down. (Look down)
I look all around and around. (Turn head to look all around)
The first time through, your infant or toddler is likely to watch your mouth and your every movement. Repeat the poem, but this time, invite her to join you. Ask, “Can you play The Look! Look! Game with me?” She may respond with a coo or squeal and then wiggle with excitement that says: “This is exciting!” or “Do it again!”
With an infant, you’ll ask and answer your own question. Respond positively to every clue that your child wants to join in: “Yes! You can play The Look! Look! Game!”
Create new situations to model the position words. For example, you might place a favorite toy up on a table, then down on the floor. Talk about where the toy is . . . or is not. Substitute your child’s name or a stuffed animal for I in the poem. You’ll naturally change the verb to looks as needed: Giraffe looks up. Giraffe looks down. Giraffe looks all around and around. This verb change models for your young talker how talk needs to make sense. Help your toddler stage such scenarios and say up or down to talk about them.
Learning to talk takes time and lots of practice. While one infant may watch in silence, another may respond with gusto. So be sure to wait patiently. Even if it seems that all attempts with sound begin somewhere in the toes, only to end up as stifled snuffs of air from the nose.
If no sound pops out, begin the modeling once again. Invite him to play. Model and wait. And with practice, he will learn to use his whole face to control bursts of air. He’ll produce sounds you’ll recognize. Soon, those sounds will approximate that entire “Look! Look!” poem you’ve been modeling.
The key to having this or any conversation with your infant or toddler is to talk and listen. Talk and listen. Let every coo, spurt, squeal, wiggle, or another kind of signal be your guide. And rest assured that you are not only your child’s 1st best teacher; you are also her most treasured audience.
The Look! Look! Game is a trademark of Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz.
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