Finding your child’s Smile during play

Written By: Nicola Hayes, Educator, Junior ESDM Therapist

As a parent I’m sure one of your favourite things in the world is to see your child smile. At times this may be a challenge to be able to find this or you might only see it at certain times. I’m going to discuss some strategies that can help you find it more and hopefully make it easier for you to see during play.

  • When playing with your child stay face to face
  • Create fun games, songs and touch.
  • Accompany them with lively faces, voices and sounds.
  • Talk and comment during play
  • Pause often and wait for your child to cue you to continue, this could be through vocalisation or moving their body to show you more.
  • Alternating playing table top (e.g. Lego, dolls, puzzles, ring stacker) activity then a social activity (e.g. ring around a Rosie, picking child up spinning, bouncing on trampoline). This will help your child stay motivated and keep their energy levels at an optimal zone for teaching.

Another big factor to finding your child’s smile through play would be removing the distractions. Finding a calm quiet room or area that you can bring some activities.

  • Engaging with them one on one during this time
  • Limiting the toys/ things in this area
  • Turn the tv off
  • Learning your child’s likes and dislikes
  • Following the child’s lead

You can also offer your child two choices from the activities or toys then seeing which one they pick or waiting to see what they go to first.


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