Around this time your baby is going to start showing off some fancy skills such as imitation. It’s one of the cutest things to see, but also a huge step in terms of development. Imitation of motor actions is an essential foundational skill to imitating sounds, words, phrases and also an important skill for conversation in terms of turn taking. Your child is beginning to understand that if you do something they can do the same thing or that if they initiate an activity you will take turns too! This grows into later developing skills such as maintaining a conversation! Here are some ideas on how to get your child to imitate and specific activities you can do…
1) Model what you want them to imitate.
2) If they do not imitate you right off the bat, feel free to physically prompt them with your hand. For instance if you are working on clapping just grab their hands to show them how to do so. Sometimes a tactile cue goes a long way!
3) Try doing exercises in front of the mirror for a visual cue. Sometimes the adult model is not enough.
4) Specific activities you can target: banging on a table, banging a drum, shaking, waving, clapping, arms up, blowing a kiss, kicking legs, peek a boo, and lots more!
5) After they master imitation of some actions try imitation of some basic sounds such as /m/, /b/, /k/, /h/, /t/, or /d/. ☺