“Teach Me To Play WITH You”

I’m so excited to share a wonderful resource to teach toddlers to connect with you during play!

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 190-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.

This is a highly successful beginning treatment approach for toddlers with who are at risk for or who have already been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

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 the 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


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.

Order here.






  1. Laura on July 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    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. Laura on July 19, 2010 at 7:51 am

    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. Laura on July 19, 2010 at 7:52 am

    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. AM on September 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm


    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!

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Happy Therapists, Teachers, Parents & Children

Dear Laura,

Thank you for your generosity in sharing so much knowledge in such a clear and enthusiastic way.

As a retired audiologist with a fabulous and language delayed grandson, I used your podcasts and outstanding publication, The Autism Workbook, to inspire and guide me over the past year.

It works!! He went from barely verbal, no gestures, didn't respond to his name etc etc to a verbal, social, curious, ready to imitate anything, fill in the blanks on familiar "set" speech, generate his own totally appropriate and mostly understandable sentences...not just short phrases anymore... full little paragraphs...about imaginary things, what he did during the day, what he wants. True communication!

You make a powerful difference in this world! ❤

With gratitude,

"Laura Mize, you are a Godsend. I don’t know how one human can have so many helpful things to say in a beautifully organized way, so often. Always amazes me when another super helpful email comes from you, and for free. With free YouTube videos and cheap CEUs. THANK YOU!!!"

Sheila, Canada

"I purchased the book on autism and have watched the #400s series podcasts. Laura Mize has been more effective in teaching autistic tendencies, than many professors, shadowing professions, and the 100s of books, articles and classes or videos, or live workshop speakers, have been at teaching effective practices for a child with ASD. Some of the many lessons she has taught, which I will now use, to be a more effective Interventionist, include but are not limited to: red flags, typical behaviors, self-stimulating behaviors, not taking away toys, rather showing child to play with toy appropriately. She gives examples of child's actions, "inappropriate," explains the reason for: why the child is engaging in these behaviors and how they can be replaced with more appropriate, effective fuctional and age-appropriate skills."

"I’m sure Laura gets these messages all the time, but I thought I’d share. I stumbled across Laura‘s "Autism or Speech Delay?" YouTube video when I really needed it. This video finally listed and explained some of the red flags my son was showing for autism. I share the link anytime a parent is questioning in my FB autism group. This mother I don’t even know said Laura's video changed her life. I know exactly how she feels because It changed families too. Thank you to everyone at Teach Me To Talk."


"Good Morning Laura,
I received your book (The Autism Workbook) yesterday and it is absolutely amazing! As I evaluate young children (0-3) for developmental delays and write plans for them with their parents, there are a ton of ideas that are ready to use. Others that reinforce what I have been doing, and saying, all along. Thank you so, so much for writing this incredible book and pulling everything together in one place!"


"Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, experience, and guidance.
I’m a parent who bought the autism workbook and it’s the only clear resource I found to make a change in my son. I’m really thankful to Ms. Laura for helping out people like us all over the world."

"Laura Mize, all I have to say is that ALL YOUR STRATEGIES WORK."

ANNE, YouTube viewer

"We have 7 SLPs in our preschool (public) program for special needs children (ages 3-5) and we use your courses, books, and techniques every day! :-) We have seen our preschoolers make such great gains!"


"I just received Teach Me to Play With You, and it is ALREADY WORKING! WOW!

Girl…my son is 3 years old, and he NEVER asks for something using words. We were playing “Get Your Belly” (from Teach Me to Play WITH You), and after several times, he laughed and screamed "BEWIEEE!!!"  It was a hoot. And I can't believe he said it! I have played with him like this before, but this time I took your advice and acted CRAZY!! I will act like a total lunatic if it will get him to talk to me!  Now I can give him "the look" from across the room, and he will say it. That manual is so amazingly practical, and it is a GODSEND right now! Thank you SO MUCH!”

"I wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you. I started watching your videos/podcasts about 4 months ago. My son has gone from losing words he previously used, only having about 7 words at his 2 year check up in August (assessed at a blended 10 month language level) -- to now having so many words, increased social engagement, following commands, spontaneously requesting things, and naming letters & numbers (not in order) as well as colors. We had our monthly meeting with our SLP through the state infants & toddlers program and it felt like we were just bragging the whole time, but I knew in the back of my head it was because I have been using strategies you taught me.

We still have so much work to do with our sweet boy, but I know in my heart he would not have succeeded without the education you provided. I will continue to read your emails & watch videos as we go along this journey and face challenges, but credit is due to you, Laura.

Thank you so much, endlessly."


"I just want to tell how fortunate I feel to have found your website and you!! I became a special instructor in EI almost a year ago and I started with hardly any applicable training. I felt so lost and confused as how to help the kids I work with learn how to use words and play. Honestly, I didn't even understand the importance of play, although I always played with my kids. But, once I started to watch your podcasts and get some of your manuals I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could finally teach these kids and their families something of value from a real therapist and based on research!. Thank you so much for seeing the need to help other EI service providers and providing a forum to share your knowledge and years of valuable experience. I'm sure you get a lot of these emails every week if not every day, but I wanted to make I could add to those notes of gratitude!! THANK YOU again!!"


"Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for these emails and your books, I have them all and they have seriously saved and improved my sessions with my kiddos. Huge thank you."


"I was very frustrated with how speech therapy was going for my child. I would take him and drop him off and not hear much of anything from his therapist and teachers other than, "He had a good (or a bad!) day." Your materials were invaluable for us because I learned how to work with him on his speech. I learned how to teach him to talk and play. I learned how to pay attention to his cues and work with him to teach him to communicate. Without it, I have no doubt he still wouldn’t talk."


"Hi! I just wanted to say (from an SLT perspective) how incredibly useful I am finding absolutely all of your articles, blogs and resources - I only discovered your site last month and have just received all your books which I feel I am learning more than on my entire university training course!! But also the way in which you give specific, realistic, fun, encouraging ideas for working with parents is really just fantastic, I only wish I have your site sooner! Thanks so much from the UK! Kind regards."


"I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for making things a little easier to manage for me this year. I made the transition from school SLP to private therapist about a year ago. While the change was welcome, it was a lot, and I was just getting my footing in the clinic when I began teletherapy full time. Your website has been a huge lifeline in helping me work with late talkers and coach their parents in an accessible but effective way, even remotely. I look forward to getting your emails each week. I am floored by the amount of valuable, free information that your website provides, and I’m looking forward to investing in your workbooks soon. A sincere thank you for all you do!"


"You are an inspiration! I am truly grateful for the way you put into words and writing how to do what we do as SLPs. At this time in my 13 years of practicing, I find your encouragement keeps me going. As a single mom, I find it a stretch to buy materials these days and I am so thankful for the freebies you so generously share that help me teach my families. I don’t have much time to put together lists or quick references for parents!! Much gratitude!!"


"I just really appreciate your courses! I have two new clinicians that I’m working with and have recommended these courses to both of them. I’ve watched quite a few and have learned so much about serving this population. To be honest, before I started implementing your strategies I was a little frustrated with the lack of progress. My skills with engaging these little ones have improved so much! Thank you so much for making these CEUs so valuable!" C, SLP