The Power of a Point

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

By: Abbey Vielhaber

Why Is Pointing Important?
  • Helps direct attention to what we see or are thinking about
  • Helps bridge the gap between 1-2 word phrases
Why Do Children Point?
  • To tell us something To ask a question
  • To ask for something
How to Respond when your Child Points:
  • Label what they are pointing at (ie: “A bird! It’s flying!”)
  • Show them how to interact with that item/person (ie: “A little boy! Hi! What’s your name?”)
  • Comment on the action happening (ie: “He fell down. Oh no! Are you okay?”)
  • If you do ask a question, follow it with a response (ie: “What do you see? Oh! It’s a dump truck!”)
For Children With Limited Words, Avoid Saying:
  • “What is it?/Who is that?/What’s that?/What’s happening?” without also modeling a response
  • “Oo, Wow, I see, Cool, etc” without adding information (ie: “Wow, a bird!” or “I see-he’s going down the slide!”)
Ways to Encourage Pointing:
  • Popping bubbles
  • Touching objects or model pointing at/touching objects in books
  • Opening pop-up wipes containers
  • Model pointing at things and naming the object or action