Dr. James MacDonald 332 Mimring Columbus, Ohio 43202 Phone/Fax 614 447-0768 macdonaldj86@gmail.com

Communicating Partners

Dr. James D. MacDonald's Website

Helping Parents Help Children. Programs for Parents, Therapists & Educators

Guidelines for Keeping Childlike Play Going

  1. Start with anything safe and socially acceptable that your child does. (This does not mean your child has to play in age-appropriate ways.) 
  2. Watch what he's doing first.
  3. Then quietly join in his activity.
  4. Keep your talking down and your actions and sounds up; in fact, being silent may sometimes help you both focus on the play.
  5. Try to be like your child. Move when he moves; sound when he sounds.
  6. When in doubt as to what to do, imitate your child. You will get his attention and may start an interaction going.
  7. When acting like your child, change what you are doing slightly, then see what he does.
  8. Give him time to do things on his own.
  9. Be sure you and he are in the same activity.
  10. Try to do only about as much as your child does; remember to balance your actions, sounds and words with his.
  11. Make yourself more interesting than the things that distract your child. This means being inventive and creative-- even being silly is effective.

And, very importantly, Keep him there with you a little longer than he usually stays. In new activities, keep him only briefly to give him a successful introduction to them. Becoming Partners with Children, Dr. Jim MacDonald (page 75)

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Dr. James MacDonald 332 Mimring Columbus, Ohio 43202 Phone/Fax (614)447-0768 macdonaldj86@gmail.com