- Expand Language—All the Time
- Use Language to Support Exploration and Problem Solving
- Help Children Connect with Each Other and Make Friends
- Try It
- Wrap Up
- Learning Guidelines and Standards
- baby sign language: a set of conventional signs designed to make it easier for older infants and young toddlers to communicate with their caregivers
- expressive language/communication: the words and phrases a child speaks and/or the specific, mutually-understood signs and gestures she uses to communicate meaning
- joint attention: a shared focus on an item; an older baby and an adult pay joint attention when they notice where the other is looking or pointing (by one year, babies should be able to point, gesture, or vocalize to get an adult to pay attention to something)
- parallel play: playing near another child and noticing each other but without interacting
- receptive language: the words and phrases a child understands
- social referencing: the process by which young children check with trusting adults to see how to react to new situations and people, including whether new people can be trusted
It’s time to practice what you’ve learned. In this activity, you’ll apply the strategies and techniques you’ve learned to your program’s learning environment.
Download and print the Let’s Explore (PDF). Brainstorm things an older infant might try as she explores household materials, then list some of the interesting vocabulary words you might use to support her exploration.
1. Choose 4–8 items from the list below to explore. Select at least one from each category.
- Containers or wrappers: boxes, paper bags, cups, plastic bottles, tissue boxes, cardboard tubes, plastic containers with lids, pans with lids, baby blankets or scarves, wrapping paper, spindles
- Tools: spoons, ladles, crayons, dowels, cardboard tubes, drinking straws, toy hammers or mallets
- Objects that move or attach in interesting ways or make sounds: rattles, squeakers, plastic rings, interlocking blocks, small balls, toy vehicles, chains, bendy straws, pipe cleaners, balls of putty or play dough, fabric swatches, scarves, shoe laces
2. Brainstorm and demonstrate at least ten things that an older infant might try as she explores these materials individually and in combinations.
3. List some of the interesting vocabulary words that you might use to support a child’s exploration, help him with a challenge, suggest a new possibility, or celebrate a success.