Modelling and Imitation during PLAY!

Have you ever heard of the saying ‘we learn more when we are having fun!’ well this is true for kids when they are learning to talk.  And when are kids having fun??…When they are playing!   We like to discuss with our families the importance of imitation skills, so how can we help our kids imitate us to start picking up new words…model language during play!


First you might start to see your child imitating (copying) your actions, like banging on a drum or blowing a kiss.  Then you might start to see them develop sound imitation, they might imitate your animal sounds (e.g. moo, baa, quack)  when playing with farm animals or when completing a puzzle together, or imitate car sounds (e.g. brrrrroom) during play.  You might then notice them attempt to imitate your words.  When playing with your young children, model simple sounds and language for them to try and imitate.  Watch them to see what they are interested in and comment on the object or action.


Check out the video below of these gorgeous twins…. twins of our amazing therapist Tabitha.  In the video you can see Tab modelling during play with bubbles.  Tab is using repetition and simple language to help her twins request for ‘more bubbles’.  You can see Tab wait after she has modelled ‘more bubbles’ to give them a chance to imitate her words.


Your little one is learning and working so hard all day every day! Praise them for all communication, watch them to see where they might be at with their imitation skills, are they imitating your actions or already imitating some sounds and words! And don’t forget to play, play and then play some more! 🙂


Contact your local Speech Pathologist if you have any concerns about your child’s speech and language development.


By Ella Bennett