Teach Me to Talk: Building Verbal Imitation in ToddlersTeach Me to Talk - The Therapy Manual
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June 09, 2010 | Laura | Comments 6

“Teach Me To Play WITH You”

I’m so excited to announce my latest project from teachmetotalk.com.

Teach Me To Play WITH You: Easy Games, Songs, and Play Activities to Teach Social Interaction to Toddlers and Young Preschoolers with Language Delays”  is a therapy guide for parents and professionals who work with young children with social and communication delays.

This 185 page manual is filled with simple routines, songs, and games designed to inspire adults to interact with children in ways to motivate them to play WITH you. It’s a book of ideas to get you started so that you’ll know what to do when you play with a child who has difficulty staying with you and paying attention or with a child who seems bored and aloof most of the time.   

Chapter 1 is an introduction for parents explaining why social interaction is the foundation for language development. A child who isn’t interested in being with or communicating with other people for most of any given day isn’t developmentally ready to understand and use words. All communication begins with being social. Once a child learns to love being with you, he forms the foundation necessary to help him understand and use language. You’ll learn how to interact with him so that he’ll learn to interact with you.  

Chapter 2 is Easiest Beginner Routines and includes step-by-step instructions for 22 fun play routines. Young children with social and language delays best learn how to interact with others during the structure of a “game.” On each page you’ll find:

·         The name of the game

·         Materials required (if any)

·         Description of a child’s preferences to help you decide if this game is a good match for your child

·         Detailed instructions in “How to Play”

·         Key words and sounds YOU should say when playing to elicit a child’s first word attempts

·         List of child’s goals so that you’ll know what responses to shoot for, how to help your child move to a more advanced response, and how to measure  progress

·         Problem solving tips specific to each game

·         Ideas for expanding the game and new games to try when he’s mastered the first one

In Chapter 3 Early Toys you’ll find ideas for play with children who may not be interested in toys. Most of these games are with toys you probably have at home. Some aren’t “toys” at all, but household items you likely already own. These are my go-to-games when I need to get a child’s attention in the beginning sessions when he’s not “with” me yet. At the end of the chapter I list toys I use every day in speech therapy.  

Chapter 4 contains words and instructions for 33 Fingerplays and Songs I use in play with toddlers and young children. As in the previous chapters you’ll find a section for Child’s Goals and ways to expand the game into your daily lives.

Finally, in chapter 5, Solutions for Problems during Play, you’ll find suggestions for new things to try when what you’re doing isn’t working. Problems include:


·         Places toys in mouth

·         Avoids interaction with people

·         Doesn’t like toys

·         Lines up toys rather than playing

·         Holds toys instead of playing

·         Repeatedly pushes buttons

·         Prefers TV/videos to people and toys

·         Sensitive to touch and sound

·         Uses parent’s hands to operate toys

·         Odd, repetitive, or self-stimulatory behavior

·         Throws toys

·         Constant motion

·         Short attention span

·         Aggressive

·         Tantrums and meltdowns

·         Difficulty with transitions

·         Doesn’t like to share or take turns

·         Lost in own words instead of playing or listening (using jargon or echolalia)


Chapter 6 includes my list of references and recommended reading for parents.

This is a great parent training tool! SLPs and other therapists in early intervention programs will love how this book is organized in a format with activity pages that can be easily copied for distribution to parents.

Regular price is $48.

Shipping within the USA is $8.

Shipping outside the USA is $35. 


Order now from our store at this link.


PayPal Orders within the USA: 



PayPal Orders outside the USA:


Questions? Email me at Laura@teachmetotalk.com

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There Are 6 Responses So Far. »

  1. Laura,
    I have purchased all your DVDs and have found them to be so helpful. I was so excited to get your book Teach me to Play WITH You! in the mail. My son is 23 months old and has been diagnosed with mild autism and suspected apraxia. He is my third child with apraxia and my second with autism. I’ve read MANY books, but I think yours is probably going to be the most helpful. The format makes it easy to copy and have my ABA therapists implement with my baby. We are having such a problem with imitation and your book is helping us to back up and do the motor action in a fun way (through song) that will increase joint attention and improve imitation. I love your products…they have really helped me alot! I think this book is going to be my favorite!

    Elizabeth Wright
    Myrtle Beach SC

  2. EMAIL FROM A MOM I RECEIVED TODAY: I have a 2.5yr old son with ASD and found your book Teach Me To Play WITH You filled with a number of ideas that I plan on trying out. I wish I had this when we first found out about his ASD diagnosis. I have read other books on improving social interaction the didn’t fit well with my son. The ASD books had activities that required language beyond his ability or the speech books didn’t address his lack of focus/attention. This was the perfect combination for my son who has very limited play skills. I also found the solutions for problems during play very helpful. I really like the format and how you’ve described ways to expand each of the activities.


  3. I LOVE to hear from parents! Thanks so much Beth and Ly for the very positive feedback on my new book Teach Me To Play WITH You. I wish you both continued success as you work with your children!

  4. Laura,

    I love your book Teach Me To Play With You! This book is full of simple ways to interact with you child that work! I am amazed at all of the games that can and need to be played without toys. The tips for how to overcome problems during play are priceless! My son is becoming more social everyday.

    Thank you!

  5. Hi Laura,

    I wrote to you and called into your podcast show a few years ago…at the time I was asking about the differences between apraxia and autism as it related to my son (who has autism). You guys have been a GREAT resource! My son is now in preschool and no longer needs phonological speech (I hope this is the right term!), but needs a lot of help with pragmatic speech. Would this be a good guide to address those skills? I need tools to help him with his communication with others, not his speech per say. I hope I’m using the correct terminology.

    Thank you so much!

  6. Thank you Tanya!! Pragmatics are so, so important! You’ll have to work to teach him how to really use his words for more than labeling. I do have an article here on the website at this link:


    This one may also help you:


    There’s also a section about it in my therapy manual if you’re really desperate for more expanded and explicit instructions.

    Maybe Kate and I will do a show about this in the upcoming weeks! Would you like to call in and talk about it again? If so, email me at Laura@teachmetotalk.com so we can discuss the details and plan to answer your very specific questions and make some great thoughtful suggestions rather than just winging it off the top of our heads! Laura

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