Exploring directions, making choices, and building language with your child

When on a walk with your child, asking which way you should go is a great way to practice making choices, exploring directions, and building language. Encourage your child who learning to talk to point or interest the concept of left-right to your older child. The possibilities are endless!

My son is 20 months old and it is becoming increasingly apparent that he is remembering where things and places are. We live off a park but the playground is not close enough to be viewable from our front yard. He knows the path alongside our house will take him to the park, When we are at the intersection of the sidewalk and the path, he will always ask to go down the park path. Before he discovered the park, he would always ask to go straight. If I attempt to keep going straight, he will keep saying "that way" while pointing in the direction he wants to go. It's pretty neat seeing him take charge and try to meet his own wants and needs while using his words.

Letting your child make a choice (no matter how small or insignificant) can help:
	- Increase confidence
	-Foster independence
	-Inspire curiosity
	-Build language 
	-Curbs upset feelings

This little exercise with your child is essentially like follow the leader except you are not just "blindly" following him or her around. Instead you are taking the knowledge he or she has and building on it. For example, I asked my son where he wanted to go at the park and he simply said "that way" and pointed. To build on what he said, I asked what was over there and what he was seeing. After a little conversation, we discovered that he wanted to go on the swings! Once we got to the swings, I took it one step further and asked which swing he wanted to use. It was a great opportunity to work on color identification as well as he could only choose between a black and gray swing.

We started at the house and ended up at the park and then eventually a swing all by asking him which way he wanted to go.

Where will your adventure take you?

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