Encouraging Interaction and Conversation with Little People

Get your child’s attention first: Young babies find it difficult to focus their attention so getting down to their level and being face-to-face will engage them and ensure you have a captive audience.

Make sure the interaction is fun and interesting: Simple, everyday things like a ‘magic’ wooden spoon or a colourful sock (think puppet!) can make for a fun interaction that goes back and forth a few times. Watch him carefully. It doesn’t matter what you say (sometimes the sillier the better) – what matters is that your child is interested and engaged.

Be enthusiastic when your child communicates with you: When you respond enthusiastically to a child, saying something that is related to what he has communicated and in a lively tone, you are letting him know that you heard him and are interested. This goes such a long way in building both his confidence and communication skills.

Imitate your child’s sounds or words: With very young children, imitating their sounds or attempts at words shows them that you value their interaction, which encourages them to keep talking.

Keep the conversation going: The longer the interaction, the more opportunities your child has to practice communicating and to learn from what you are saying.