Early interactions are important for children to develop communication skills. These early interactions usually don’t need words or sounds, and instead they focus on the back and forth interactions between an adult and the child. Sometimes it can be difficult to find toys that make back and forth interactions easy. How often does your child want you to join in on their iPad game?!
When you’re interacting with your child, the aim is for them to pay more attention to you then the toy. Traditional toys such as puzzles, blocks and playdough are great for encouraging back and forth interactions, as well as using lots of words to describe what you and your child are doing. Other options are toys that require an adult’s help to use, such as bubbles, balloons and wind-up toys. As children need an adult’s help to play with these toys, they encourage back and forth interactions. Shared book reading is also a great time to take turns and talk about what you see, not just read the words on the page.
Whilst you can choose toys that will make back and forth interactions easier to achieve, it is important to remember that you have more of an impact on your child’s development than any toy. Children learn through positive interactions with important people in their lives.