Why is this important?
Connecting new words and objects with old ones allows your child to more easily understand what you are trying to teach him.
In the first year, you can do this by showing your child different uses for a word they know. One example is to teach the names of body parts. Once a child understands what his nose is, help him increase his knowledge of that word by teaching him where your nose is and where other people’s noses are.
You can also teach family relations through connecting familiar and unfamiliar things. Babies understand the idea of families early on. Try pushing this knowledge further by relating a child’s family relations to animals. For example, say, “Oh, that’s a baby bear and a mommy bear—you know, just like you’re the baby and I’m the mommy.” In general, start this kind of comparison with “That’s a _______ just like_______ .”
The chart below includes some ideas about making connections. You can use these to help your child learn how names can be used in different ways. Connecting familiar and unfamiliar things can also help a child start to understand abstract concepts and basic reasoning, in addition to teaching him to adapt to new experiences.
child and mommy or daddy
brother and sister names
baby animal and its mommy or daddy
number of brothers or sisters in a friend’s family
yesterday you wore red pants
you swim in a swimming pool
today you are wearing blue pants
today we are going to to try a new swimming pool
your old ball is blue
your eyes are brown
your new ball is green
Grandma’s eyes are also brown
we have some books at home
we have two dogs
the library has lots more books to share
Sarah has one dog
Keep in mind, every child develops at his/her own pace. Talk to your pediatrician if you have questions about your child's development.