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Teach Your Child the Words to Get Along

It’s human nature; toddlers snatch, two-year-olds push. Our kids need social skills, even at these young ages, as they learn to interact with others.

Social interaction may be second nature to us, but our children are still exploring the right ways to play, make friends and communicate with others. Scenarios involving cooperation are your chance to teach your child the language skills to successfully interact with others.

Here are some fun activities you can do to help your kids practice playing with and talking to others.

Taking turns and following rules:

• Play active games like passing a ball back and forth and blowing bubbles for each other to pop.

• Encourage play with peers.  Before playtime, remind your child how to take turns and use words to ask for toys.

Listening to others

• Make a game of whispering to each other instead of using normal voices.

• Go on a“sound hunt.” Take a walk and see how many sounds your child can find (e.g., siren, bird, lawnmower, etc.)

• Give each other silly directions to follow, like “Touch your nose then clap your hands three times!”

Practice “ask, not demand”

• Be a good model. If your child is playing and you want to join in, ask “Can I play with you?”

• Do some role-playing and pretend play. Set up situations where the characters have to join an activity. For example: Your son is using his dump truck to build a sand castle, so you push the bulldozer over to him and ask if it can help out. You see your daughter having a tea party with one of her princess dolls, so you bring another doll over and ask if she can have some tea, too.

Find more about pediatric issues and speech therapy by visiting Amber Hill’s experts.