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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.

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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.  


 

Familiar

Unfamiliar

Family 


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

Food

milk 

applesauce

Macaroni noodle

yogurt

apples

Spaghetti noodle

Experiences 

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

Colors 

your old ball is blue

your eyes are brown 

your new ball is green

Grandma’s eyes are also brown

Numbers 

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.