Once your child accepts you as an interesting partner, you can increase your active involvement while playing. In our last post, we discussed imitation and adding variations. In this post, we will share tips on how to add turn-taking and taking control over playing materials.
- Taking control over the playing materials or the activity: “Taking control” over the materials or activity helps you create many opportunities for communication. You do it by holding objects (Lego pieces, markers, stickers, etc.) or delaying a motivating action, such as tickling your child and then pausing. This will allow your child to ask or communicate that they want to continue with what you withheld.
- Take Turns– Turn-taking begins when the child is engaged in a one-person activity, like playing the xylophone or coloring with a marker, and so on. Start by allowing your child to play for a minute or so. Then, start taking turns. In the beginning, keep your turns very (!) short since this may cause conflict. Your child is not yet used to turn-taking and needs to be sure that the toy will be given back quickly. If the child leaves the toy or refuses to interact in this way, it is not the end of the world. Go back to the earlier stages of joint play. However, if you have proceeded gradually and slowly through the stages, there is a good chance that your child will be willing to hand you the object after a few times.