Did you notice your baby responding to your words before they could even speak? That is the beauty of language development. It is happening all the time. That is why it is so important to immerse your child in language right from birth because they are always listening and absorbing. Your child can understand your words and their meanings before your child speaks. We will call this listening vocabulary. Listening vocabulary is the words that your baby understands when someone else speaks them. Riley will blow kisses when I tell her too, but she certainly doesn’t say blow kisses. By the time your child is 1 year old, they probably have about 20 words in their listening vocabulary!
Let’s practice that listening vocabulary with this activity- Hand Me the Block!
- Gather familiar safe objects around the house such as a block, cup, rattle, book, spoon, etc.
- Lay out two or three familiar items on the floor. Name each item as you lay it on the floor. Be sure to remove all other distractions to help your child focus on the activity. As your child becomes more successful, try increasing the number of objects though I wouldn’t do more than four choices.
- Ask your child to hand you one of the items. You can also start by asking them to point to the object and work up to handing if needed.
- Keep asking your child for different objects one at a time until you have all the objects.
- Repeat this activity with different items.
- Practice often!
Note: Give lots of praise and encouragement throughout. Avoid saying no if your child hands you the wrong object. Instead name that object and then steer your child’s hand to the correct object. Name the correct object and then praise your child. Don’t remove that object yet. Ask your child again for that object and see if they get it right this time.
This is another great game that is very similar to Hand Me the Block.
- Ask your child “Where is Mama?” or “Where is Dada?”.
- See if your child will point or search for that familiar person.
- Reward with lots of praise!
Note: Play this activity with familiar people and pets. Mix up who is asking the questions and the order of the questions so your child doesn’t become familiar with the routine. Riley quickly learned that daddy always asks “where’s Mama?” first before asking “where’s Dada?”. She would start pointing before he even finished the question.
- Receptive language
- Language acquisition
- Vocabulary development
- Fine Motor Skills
Information from this post came from
- Ages and Stages by Dr. Charles E. Schaefer and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo