Promoting Positive Connections With Young Children

Being a caregiver offers adults the opportunity to play freely and immerse themselves fully into the joy that children bring. Face-to-face games bring much enjoyment to both the child and caregiver. In addition, these activities promote eye contact, imitation skills, language modeling, repetition, physical closeness, emotional connection, and laughter!

Caregivers can elicit more face-to-face interactions by purposely positioning themselves with their child. Examples are:

  • The child is in a chair or on the couch while the adult kneels in front of him/her
  • The child is seated in a highchair while the adult sits directly in front of him/her
  • The child is seated on the floor while the caregiver lies on his/her side, propped up on an arm
  • The caregiver holds the child in a seated or standing position on his/her lap, facing toward the caregiver
  • The child lies on the floor with the caregiver kneeling above him or her

Below are simple games that both caregivers and children enjoy!

  • Playing peek-a-boo
  • Making silly sounds
  • Making silly faces
  • Imitating your toddler’s laughter, sounds, and facial expressions
  • Pretending to sneeze, cough, or yawn
  • Pretending to sleep and wake up together repeatedly
  • Singing simple songs and rhymes
  • Tickling games such as:
    • “I’m gonna get you”
    • “Here comes the tickle monster”
    • The bumblebee came out of the barn rhyme
      • The bumblebee came out of the barn, said he wouldn’t do any harm, then he went bzzzz-bzzzz-bzzzz-bzzzz-bzzzz (while tickling the child)
    • Zerberts (Blowing raspberries on skin)
    • Kiss attacks
    • Lap-bouncing games such as “Ride a pony into town; Hold on tight or you’ll fall…. down!!!”

Be creative and enjoy these special moments while they last!

By Alissa Ketterling M.S., CCC-SLP


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