Learning Through Routine
Language growth is an amazing part of a child’s development. In a matter of months, a child goes from using a first word or two to a point where the child increasingly has control over the world around him.
Routines provide comfort through predictability in a world that is just beginning to make sense. When you do the same thing the same way time after time, your child learns what to expect in a given situation. If you always kiss your baby’s toes when changing her diaper, she’ll begin to put her feet up for a kiss at diaper changing time. This is an early form of expressive communication. She is inviting you to play the game. When you play along and kiss her toes, you have reinforced her communication and shown her that you understand what she has asked. In this way, you have laid a foundation for conversational give and take in the future.
Getting on the child’s level is an important step. Play, and the communication that goes along with it, is enhanced when you partner with your child. That means side by side on the floor or at a kiddie table or anywhere that puts you eye to eye.