Quartz – June 2, 2017
The educators in Quartz have been recently delighted to hear the escalation of language development happening in our room. There is so much joy in hearing the way children pronounce new words for things and the names they have for their friends. For example, June has many versions of her name: June Bud (June Bug), June Bunny (derived from her stuffy, we think), and Joonie.
We have noticed that once the children learn each other’s names and begin using them, their play changes. Instead of playing parallel to each other, they begin to imitate each other. We have even seen some children with more language skills demonstrate associative play as they discuss what they are doing with each other. At the tea table, we have heard Parker and June take turns pouring and drinking tea. Parker has said, “June, I need more.” Some children are also beginning to bond with each other. This is the case with Jayda and Ava, who use each other’s names throughout the day to engage in playful sequences.
What really makes our day, though, is when we hear the word “Stop!”. This means that the child has begun to learn to problem solve. When a toy is ripped out a child’s hands, it is normal for us to hear a shriek, followed by sobbing. Then the child usually looks at us through teary eyes for support. But, when we encourage them to use their words, the child turns to the other child and says “Stop!”. That’s when the educators cheer and congratulate the child for using her or his words. With role modeling, some children are even able to communicate “Stop, that’s mine!”, and “Stop, that hurt’s my body!”. Surprisingly enough, that’s all it takes for the other child to stop and re-direct themselves to another toy or activity. These are very powerful words for our children to learn to use, as well as hear from their peers as they begin their journey of autonomy.