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Follow your child’s lead

After you OWL and your child sends you a message, follow their lead by:

  • Responding immediately! This shows your child that you’ve heard her message and are interested in what she said/communicated.
  • Interpreting
  • Making a fun comment! For example, “We made really sticky playdough!”
  • Joining in and playing! ! Get some playdough for yourself and play like a child would. There’s no right or wrong way to play, as long as you’re having fun together! Join in and play the way your child is playing (not the way you think she should play)! What often works really well is to follow your child’s lead by imitating her.
  • Imitating her actions, sounds and words. For example, if your child rolls out some playdough, you can imitate her by getting another rolling pin and rolling out your playdough too.

Children love to interact with adults who follow their lead. When you follow your child’s lead, your child will want to take lots of back and forth turns interacting with you! This gives your child many opportunities to learn and say words!

Excerpted from Early Childhood Language and Literacy Development Articles, Hanen Centre

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