• Talking with each other while playing together offers wonderful opportunities for learning, and for building strong bonds of love and caring between you and your child.
  • One terrific strategy that really works well during play time is called linguistic sabotage.
  • Linguistic sabotage is a way to prompt your child use expressive language – by setting up simple situations in which she has to say something!
  • An example of linguistic sabotage:
    • Ask your child to open a box of blocks. You know the box is sealed too tightly for her to open it herself, but you want her to use language to ask you to open it before you help her with it. Pretend you don’t realize that the box is too tightly sealed. Model the language for her to ask you to open it: “The lid is too tight. Please open it”!
    • You can use this strategy in even more daily situations to effectively encourage language. (Don’t use this strategy too often, though – the intent is not to tease the child, but to occasionally set up a situation in which she needs to convey a need through language!)
      • Ask your child to open the door (even though it’s locked. She’ll have to ask for the key)
      • Ask your child to cut out a picture (but she doesn’t have any scissors.)
      • Give your child a drink (but forget to put the juice in the cup.)
      • Ask your child to put on her shoes and socks (but only give her one sock/shoe.) 

Tip #15: The Bottom Line: 
Set up situations in which your child will have to use language to accomplish a task!