Parenting Resource

Jonah, Age 19 Months, Develops Thinking Skills

May 19, 2010

Watch to see how Jonah shows us his new pretend play skills as he takes on the role of a frog in this video clip.

To Think About:

  • How does Jonah show that he now understands symbols?
  • How does Claudine encourage Jonah’s pretend play skills?
  • How do you think the presence of an older child (Jonah’s friend Ella) influences Jonah’s pretend play?
  • What skills might Jonah be learning during this interaction?

What the Experts Say About This Interaction

What Jonah does:

  • Listens intently to mom reading.
  • Imitates his friend Ella hopping like a frog, which helps build his understanding of pretend and symbolic thinking.
  • Initiates pretending to be a frog the second time around—showing how quickly he learned though imitation.
  • Shows interest in his peer (Ella) by watching, smiling at, and imitating her.

What Claudine does:

  • Makes reading an interactive experience by asking the children to imitate the animals’ sounds and movements. This also helps Jonah understand the book’s content.

  • Builds Jonah’s understanding of symbolic thinking by encouraging him to pretend.

  • Does not force Jonah to sit and listen to the story, but lets him get up to jump like a frog again.

  • Shows that she is having fun and enjoying being with Jonah and his friend Ella—making them feel valued and important.

Think About How Your Child Is Learning These Skills

How is your child developing thinking skills through her everyday interactions with you? Here are some questions to think about:

  • How does your child like to explore the world around him? Does he prefer to use his fingers and hands to figure out how things work, or does he like to be on the move, using his large muscles (arms and legs) to explore?
  • What kinds of activities does your child seek out and truly enjoy? Why do you think he prefers these activities?
  • Think about a recent playtime with your child.
  • What was he exploring?
  • How did he go about his exploration?
  • What do you think he was learning?
  • Did you participate in his play? If so, how? What impact did you participation have?

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