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Introduction

About the SING.PLAY.LOVE. Kit

We can't wait to show you how fun and exciting learning through music and play can be!

Music combined with play, rich picture book literature and YOU as your child’s play partner create the engagement a young child needs to learn and grow.SING.PLAY.LOVE. songs, books, and learning activities can be powerful tools for supporting the development.

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Lesson Takeaway

What we can learn.

Motor Imitation

Teaching Your Child to Imitate Your Motor Motions

Children learn by watching, hearing, feeling, and interacting with the world around them. And universally, children imitate what they experience through their senses. Gestures, sound effects, facial expressions, actions with objects, and motor movements can all be mimicked. Activities that include imitation of these actions encourage focused attention, body awareness and self-control. While imitation skills can develop on their own, some children need help to develop these skills. You can be key in this process by modeling behavior, providing processing time and verbally encouraging them to imitate the motions or sounds you share. Here are some fun ways to encourage your child to develop imitation skills that provide a foundation for many social and language skills to follow.
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Sing

Read and sing a long!

Play the Song

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Learn how to add signed words and motions.

Play

Here are some simple ways to enrich and extend your child’s learning of imitation and other key developmental concepts.

Imitation to Engage

Create opportunities for children to transition from one activity to another or re-engage and focus their attention on you with motor imitation. Turn your voice off as you begin to perform a simple motor motion such as touching your head or marching in place. Gain eye contact with children as you smile and perform the motor motion. Change to a different motor motion when all children have joined your fun imitation game and focused their attention on YOU.

Animals on the Move

Play an animal locomotion game by getting on all fours and moving around the room as you make the animal sounds. You can also stand to “stomp like a horse” or “flutter your wings like a hen” as you move around the “barnyard.” Instruct your critters to strut their animal moves on their way to the dinner table or bathtub. It makes transitions easier and much more fun!

Anticipate the Animals

Our wonderful illustrator Luanne Marten has given us a clue on each page of our book. She helps us anticipate what animal we will meet on the next page by looking for the one peeking into the activity on the far-right side of the page. Show your child this clever trick, then ask them what animal you will see when you turn the page. Provide ample praise for “reading the page” to know what happens next!

Follow the Leader

Follow the leader is a classic game and perfect fun for practicing imitation skills with children or family members. Participants line up and the first person in the line is the leader. The leader does movements as she walks around the room and the other members of the line imitate. You can also play a stationary form of the game where all children stand or sit in a circle and the leader chooses what fancy move friends or family members will perform next.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Acting out familiar stories is an excellent way to facilitate speech and language while you develop imitation skills. Children can act out or imitate the characters in a book. The Three Billy Goats Gruff is a great story to act out with fun lines, drama, and sound effects. It is often helpful if you can act out a character’s role to model for your children. It is also a short enough story that you can work it out for several small groups to have a turn engaging with the story.

Love

More things to enjoy. Recommending Reading.

Check out these books that help your child learn to imitate:

  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodking 
  • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams 
  • The Napping House by Audrey Woods 
  • Red Hat, Yellow Hat by Sandra Boynton 
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Annie Kubler 
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It by Annie Kubler
  • Sometimes I Feel Like a Mouse: A Book About Feelings by Jeanne Modesitt 
  • The Way I Feel by Janan Cain

Here are some picture books we love about farm animals!

  • Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
  • Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Noisy Farm by Rod Campbell
  • On the Farm by Brooke Vitale
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