Imitation plays an essential role in early childhood development. It is one of the earliest forms of communication between parents and their infants, and one of the first ways we learn.
In this post, we overview imitation games and activities to help your young children learn as much as possible by mimicking.
As explained in our post on how babies learn by imitation, babies first begin learning by imitating their parents' facial expressions, sounds, and hand motions. Playing games with your infant will help them learn and grow.
Help your baby learn to imitate early on with these simple imitative play activities:
Imitation continues to be a useful tool for toddlers; it allows them to learn and practice new skills. To ensure your toddler is getting as many opportunities as possible to learn by imitation, here are some helpful activities to do together:
There are many fun and creative ways to inspire your toddler's verbal imitation and communication!
Imitation is an inherent skill for infants and children. If your child isn't imitating motions or sounds as much as you think he or she should be, try these tips:
1. Imitate your child! Start out by copying what your child is doing. Draw his attention to the action to reinforce the behavior. For example, if your child is clapping his hands, clap your hands too. Make eye contact with him, smile, and ask him to look at what you are doing.
2. Instruct your child to imitate what you are doing. Perform a simple gesture or make a sound and ask your child to copy what you are doing.
3. Reward your child's efforts. A small reward for your child's successful participation in imitation learning will encourage them to keep going.
4. Keep their favorite toy handy. Hold your child's favorite toy and grant access to the toy when they successfully perform imitations.
With these imitation games and activities, your young child will have numerous opportunities to learn and grow by imitation. Don't hesitate to get creative!
If your child is experiencing difficulty learning by imitation, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.
Photo by Lawrence Crayton on Unsplash
Sunny Days is one of the nation's leading early intervention and autism services providers, serving children with developmental needs in New York, Oklahoma, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania ,and Delaware. Founded in 1994, it currently has over 2,000 active practitioners. In the past two years, Sunny Days has provided well in excess of 1,000,000 individual sessions. Sunny Days was founded by two healthcare professionals — Joyce Salzberg, LCSW and Donna Maher, RN — whose passion for quality healthcare is core to its mission.