Anyone have a toddler who loves to point at stuff?

Recently a mother described her toddler to me as a “passionate pointer” – what a great description! Pointing is an excellent way to show someone you need help, want something NOW, see something SUPER cool, or do NOT like what is happening over there. Toddlers might have lots to tell you when they point, but they also may not yet have the words. How can we help?

Meet them at their level.

If the child points and says “pane” (or some other form of “airplane”) then you respond “yes, airplane” pause “I see it” pause “bye airplane”. He is using one word so we are using HIS word plus 1-2. No more. Keep it simple.

If the child points and grunts or says nothing word-like then you respond with an appropriate meaningful sound. I use “sssshhhzzhhh” (or something like that) for my amazing airplane sound. You might want to just use an excited sound to match their enthusiasm “woooowww”, “whooooaaa”. Sure, you can also say the word “plane” or “airplane”. You want him to know what it’s called, but if you want them to maybe try to say a word back to you then “sing” the word or make it silly in some way. Kids love silly.

If the child isn’t yet at the level of words then don’t overwhelm them with “yes, I see the airplane. There it goes. I know you like airplanes. Ok, come on we have to keep going.” If you want your child to be able to tell you about the awesome stuff they experience in their day, you have to give them words/sounds that are on their level.

Want more tips about how to get your little one talking? Check out my Facebook page. I offer play and language learning classes “Let’s Play”, parent workshops “Sounds to Sentences”, and individual at-home play sessions.