Can Imitate Words but Chooses Not too!

If your child is able to imitate words but chooses not too, there are some fun games to play at home to increase imitation! Take the pressure off and have fun!

Stuffed Animals

Get out the stuffed animals! Children imitate stuffed animals more often than adults since it seems more like a game than work. It takes the pressure off! Taking the pressure off is crucial for children who are reluctant to imitate.

Materials: Stuffed animials

Words to Imitate: Anything word or sound!

How to Play: Get on the floor with your child in a familiar spot such as the playroom.

First: Model how to imitate the teddy bear while your child simply watches. For example, have your teddy bear make a sound or word that your child can already imitate (e.g., “baba”). Then, repeat the sound “baba.”

Next: After a few introductions, try to engage your child. To begin, use sounds or words your child can already imitate. You want your child to be successful at the game. Praise your child for all attempts to imitate and make it a fun game.

Last: Once your child enjoys playing the game, start to add new words or sounds (depending on the level of your child. 

For example, if your child can imitate "ba" while the bear is playing with a bottle, try to add another syllable such as "baba" or "baboo."

If your child can imitate a word such as "hi," add another word such as "hi doggie" or "hi kitty."

Puppet Game

This is my never miss game!

Materials: Puppet (if you don't have a puppet, a big stuffed animal will do) and play food

Words to Imitate: Food, Eat, More, Yummy, Yucky

How To Play: Put a puppet on your hand and encourage your child to feed the puppet the toy food. You may have to show your child how to play at first. Make it fun and silly. 

Example Script (Eat):

  • Puppet (parent): I'm hungry!
  • Child: Feeds an apple to puppet.
  • Parent: Parent models eat while child is feeding puppet.
  • Puppet: Yummy! I'm hungry.
  • Child:  Gives toy bread and says eat!
  • Puppet: Eat bread, yummy!
  • etc...

Example Script (More):

  • Puppet (parent): I'm hungry! More food please
  • Child: Feed puppet a toy cookie.
  • Parent: Parent models more food while child is feeding puppet.
  • Puppet: Yummy! More food please!
  • Child:  Gives another cookie and says more.
  • Puppet: Yummy, more please!
  • etc...

Tips: If your child is not engaged in the game, one sure fire way to get them involved is to have the puppet spit out the food and say yucky every once in a while. This is usually hysterical to almost all children!

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