Parenting Resource

Linda, Age 18 Months, Developing Early Learning Skills

May 19, 2010

Watch to see how Linda is learning language through this playful moment with her mother, Alice. What do you see Alice doing to encourage Linda?

To Think About:

  • What communication skills does Linda use?
  • How does Alice read and respond to Linda’s actions and words?
  • What might Alice be learning about talking and listening as she plays with Linda?

What the Experts Say About This Interaction

What Linda does:

  • Shows curiosity about the snow. Explores it to figure out what it’s all about.
  • Starts playing a game with her mom by handing her snow. (Repetition is how very young children practice and learn new skills. Back-and-forth games like this are also good practice for how a conversation works.)

What Alice does:

  • Responds to Linda’s gestures by saying, “What’s that? Snow. It’s cold.” By using language to describe the snow, Alice is helping Linda develop both language and thinking skills.

  • Follows Linda’s lead and plays a back-and-forth game, handing each other the snow. This teaches Linda about taking turns. It is also a “conversation” through action.

Think About How Your Child Is Learning These Skills

  • How does your child communicate her thoughts and feelings?
  • What are ways you encourage your child’s communication skills?
  • Think of a recent interaction you had with your child.
  • How did he or she let you know what he was thinking and feeling?

  • How did you respond? How do you think your response encouraged his or her language skills?

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