Here are my top 5 ways to use bubbles!
1) Use bubbles to encourage eye contact
Begin blowing bubbles to your child and engage your child in the activity of looking at and popping the bubbles. When all the bubbles are gone, wait for the anticipation of more bubbles from your child – get down to your child’s level and wait for eye contact before blowing more!
2) Use bubbles to encourage imitation of actions
Encourage your child to pop the bubbles in different ways – pop them with your finger, catch the bubbles with your hand, catch the bubbles by clapping your hands, stomp on the bubbles with your feet…and the list goes on!
Turn popping of bubbles into an imitation game where you copy the different ways your child may choose to pop the bubbles, and then encourage your child to imitate the way you pop the bubbles too. Imitation of non-verbal motor actions (e.g. movement of arms and legs) can often be an important and useful tool in teaching children how to imitate, before developing the skill of verbal imitation (imitation of sounds and words). You can also include sounds as you’re popping bubbles ‘p-p-p-pop’ to encourage imitation of sounds. More about imitation skills in another blog post!
3) Use bubbles to create opportunities for your child to request
This may be as easy as blowing the bubbles, putting the lid back on tight and giving them to your child. Wait to see what they do – when they are unsuccessful in trying to open the bubbles on their own, they hand them back to you for help, and that’s a request!
Depending on your child’s level, shape that request into a
- key word sign: use this opportunity to teach the sign for ‘open’. Or you might also pause while blowing bubbles and if your child looks to you for more, teach the sign for ‘more’
- sound: If your child is not yet producing any sounds, use this opportunity to model the sounds ‘m’ for more, ‘b’ for bubbles or ‘p’ for pop (pop bubbles)
- word: if your child is able to request with a sign and is also producing sounds, try modelling the words ‘open’ and ‘more’, and wait for your child to im!itate the word to request!
4) Use bubbles to teach turn-taking
Basic turn taking routines teach children the foundational rules and skills for conversational turn-taking – Bubbles are a fun way to teach ‘my turn’ and ‘your turn’. Model turn-taking to your child. You may also choose to teach and use the signs for ‘my turn’, ‘your turn’ depending on the level your child is at.
5) Use bubbles to teach different types of words
If your child is able to request bubbles using single words (e.g. more, open, bubbles, again), you can extend their language by using a phrase such as ‘I want bubbles’, or by combining words ‘more bubbles’.
You can also make comments about bubbles to teach different types of words such as describing words (Wow! BIG bubbles!), location words (bubbles going UP), action words (BLOW! Blow bubbles!).
We hope you found this useful, and next time you bring out bubbles – we would love to hear some of the ways you have used them with your child!