Hesperian Health Guides

Fitting activities into your family’s daily life

In this chapter:

It is important to think about how to support your child's development in ways that make sense for your family. Some of the activities in this book will take extra time to do or may change the way you usually do things.

Your child will learn better when teaching becomes a part of everyday activities.

  • Talk or sign to your child while you do activities together, like eating, bathing, changing clothes, and so on. These are good times to talk and sign because you are close to your child and he is usually paying attention to you.
A young girl shows her younger brother how to plant beans.
If we take good care of the bean plants, they will grow big and strong.
A woman signing to her small child.
Lihua's mother is using
home signs to communicate.

To describe what you do, use the same signs or words for the same things, each time. This will help your child learn the meaning of signs and words, and help him to use signs and words.

A woman signing to her small child.
Are you hungry? Can you smell the rice? Mmm!
Cesar's mother is using sign language to communicate.
  • As much as possible, keep your child nearby while you work. Make many short comments about what you are doing.
A boy speaking to his younger brother.
Don't like spinach...
Jawad's cousin is using words and expressions on the face to communicate.

  • Talk and sign about what you think your child is seeing, doing, and feeling, as if you were him. Show your feelings on your face and with your body.
A woman and her small child put a pineapple in a basket.
A pineapple! What else do we need?
  • Follow the child's interests. Make activities using things your child is interested in.

Be realistic

  • Try to be realistic about how much time you and others can spend working with your child.
A woman thinking as she weaves.
When I weave, I can talk about colors, and Teresa will learn the names of colors when she gives
me the yarn.
  • Try to adapt activities so they fit more easily into your daily life and take less time.

  • Try breaking large tasks into smaller, easier steps. This way you will see progress and not get discouraged.

2 women sit and speak together; a small child sits nearby.
I want Ravi to learn to say his name.
Why not start with each separate sound first — like 'Ra' and 'vi'?

This page was updated:09 Aug 2022