Join in with your child's play.
But, before you join their play, watch your child for a short time, and notice what they're doing so you can follow their lead.
Letting your child take the lead will show them you value their play and ideas. This will boost their confidence and they are more likely to let you join in, and to talk with you.
When children are feeling relaxed, and are interested in an activity they have chosen, they are often more likely to want to tell you about what they are doing and engage in conversation with you. The conversations you have will boost their language development.
- Position yourself alongside your child and at their level if you can (sitting on the floor or next to them at a table).
- Check it's ok for you to get involved. 'Can I help you?', 'Shall I be this one?', 'Where would you like this to go?'
- Making noises or using play voices as you play will encourage your child to be more vocal. For example, vehicle or animal noises.
- Describing what your child is doing will support their vocabulary and show them you're interested. ' Oh, I see, you're building walls.'
- When you praise them, make sure they understand what you think they've done well. 'Wow! You made that balance!' 'I like the way you built that, it works really well.'
Good to know
Playing with toys helps children to learn about the world, develop skills and knowledge and explore language.