Aim of the game:
As well as needing to learn words and sentences, children need to learn the skills of conversation and interaction. Taking turns in games is a good way of preparing your child for learning to take turns with talking which is an important conversational skill. Conversations where one person speaks whilst the other one listens and then responds are much more rewarding and effective than when people are talking over the top of each other. This simple game of towers introduces turn taking to help build on your child’s interaction skills in play.
What you will need:
Some building blocks or Duplo bricks
How to play:
- Introduce the game to your child by saying “Let’s build a tower together”
- Explain that to build it together you need to take turns and talk this through for them (e.g. “you stack a brick….then I stack a brick… then you stack a brick….”).
- It can help to put the bricks in a bag or box so that you are in control of the pieces (sometimes children will forget and just grab another brick) but also to build up anticipation and make the game more exciting.
- Role model the words “my turn” and “your turn” to help your child learn those personal pronouns and help them understand about taking turns.
- See how big you can build your tower before if falls down!
How to extend:
- Use bricks of different sizes to model ‘big’ and ‘little’ or offer your child a choice of “big brick or little brick”
- Use different coloured bricks to model colour concepts ‘red’, ‘blue’, ‘yellow’ etc (best to start off teaching primary colours first) or offer your child a choice “red brick or yellow brick”
- Once they’ve got really good and are starting to use more little phrases you can combine ‘big’ and ‘little’ with colours (e.g. “big red brick or little blue brick”).
- Introduce another person into the game (e.g. a brother, sister, another adult or friend) so get learn to take turns with more than one person.
Tip! Children learn to take turns with adults first but often still find it hard to take turns with peers. Introducing another child into the game can help them to practice this skill.
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