Prep: None / Activity Time: 2-3 Minutes

Young infants try to imitate the sounds that adults make. But it’s even more fascinating when they start to imitate the up-and-down intonation and cadence that adults use! For example, infants may produce a long string of sounds that resemble a question. This behavior shows that your baby is already becoming aware of the sounds of language and how language is used. Play this game with your child to help develop this emerging skill.

Step 1: Ask your child a simple question (Example:  “Do you want milk?”)

Step 2: Choose a sound your child can produce (Example: "ba")

Step 3: Using the intonation and cadence of the question, replace all of the words with one repeated sound. See if your child repeats the sounds using the same intonation.  

For example, After you say THIS:

Do you want milk?

say THIS

Ba ba ba ba?

Step 4: Your baby will enjoy the “question” because the rhythm remains familiar, but he will be attending to one specific speech sound.  

Step 5:  Repeat with other questions or statements where you use a lot of expression.

For example, After you say THIS:

Daddy is home!

say THIS

da da da da!