Playing telephone helps your child practice back-and-forth conversation, which builds language skills. Pretend play also increases awareness of social and emotional cues.
Learning Area(s): Language and Communication; Social and Emotional
- Old phones or toy telephones
Explain to your child that you are going to talk to each other on the telephone. Encourage older infants to babble into the phone. You can begin by making the sound of a ringing phone and showing the child how to answer it. For example, say, “Hello!” and model other phrases, such as “How are you?” When the conversation ends, say “Goodbye!”
You can initiate and model other conversations for your toddler by asking questions and waiting for a response.
- Before playing, remove batteries from any old cell phones. If you’re letting kids play with corded phones, cut or remove the cords so that they don’t pose a choking hazard for infants and toddlers.
- If your child is used to using a phone to play games rather than to talk to someone, you may need to remind him how to use a phone to have a conversation.
- Both pretend and real phone conversations can help children practice their language skills. You might invite a friend or relative to call to talk to your child on the phone, as well as pretending to call during play.