Follow the child’s lead means letting the child choose the activity and letting the child play with it in their own way.
Why is it important?
- It shows the child you are interested in them
- It helps the child concentrate because they are playing with something that interests them
- It encourages them to talk
- It develops their understanding because what you say will be more relevant
- Stop what you are doing so that you can focus on the child.
- Let the child lead the play and choose what they would like to do
- Look at what the child is doing.
- Listen to things the child tries to say.
- Think about what the child would like to be able to say.
- This will make your responses more relevant and appropriate.
- Explain: describe what the child is doing or looking at, say something short and simple which you think the child would like to be able to say.
- Repeat: repeat back what the child says using a correctly structured and articulated sentence.
- Expand: repeat what the child says but add 1 or 2 words