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Language and Communication Reach to indicate wanting more of an activity  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child will reach towards an object in an activity to indicate that they want the activity to start or continue.

Early years skill:Understanding
Early years typical range:0-11m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English
P-scales/Curriculum level:P2ii
TAP skill:Language
TAP level:TAP12
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:Inititation
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:Engagement
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Water play
  • water tray or washing up bowl;
  • containers of various sizes;
  • sponges;
  • apron(s).

1. Try actions that the child might enjoy, for example squeezing out the sponge, pouring water over their hands, flicking a little bit of water towards the child;

2. Stop and wait;

3. Look for any sign that the child might want the action repeated, this could be looking, smiling, a slight movement. For some children the only indication they might make is not moving their hands away;

4. If the child is not making any form of reaching, use hand on hand to assist the child to reach towards the activity;

5. Repeat the activity.

The purpose of this activity is to encourage children to use a developmentally early method of showing that they want some or more of an activity. This activity may be too low level for the child if they are beginning to make some other indication that they want some or more of an activity, for example using a gesture or sign, using some kind of vocalisation.

Keep each go short so that the child has plenty of opportunities to indicate that they want the activity repeated.

Do not continue the activity if there is any indication that the child does not want to do the activity.

A helper sitting behind the child to assist them in making the reaching response can make this activity easier.

Personal battery operated fans

Hand held battery operated fan.

Comments - see above.

Textures/messy play

One or materials with different textures, for example:

Comments - see above.

Noise makers

Musical instruments, for example:

  • percussion instruments,
  • battery operated musical toys.

Comments - see above.

Cause and effect toys

Any toys which have a quick response, e.g. a jack in a box.

For comments - see above.

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