Help Your Helpers: Talk to Your Toddler

Today's nap time project was inspired by this post from Imprints From Tricia. Tricia wonderfully suggests six open-ended questions parents can ask their kids during playtime to help engage their littles in a conversation and also stimulate their thinking. The questions are simple enough to add to your playtime interaction but they're also so simple that we may not think to ask them unless we're intentional about saying them. Definitely something I want to put into practice.

Tricia's inquiry questions are too good not to include in E's regular playtime, even if I'm not around to ask them. In Tricia's home, the questions are posted on her kids' playroom wall as a visual reminder. So, for our play space, which is outdoors and visible to everyone from the dining room, I thought, what better way to display them than in bunting form (Yes, i know, buntings. I need an intervention.)

One of my pet peeves is that even with all the brilliant resources on the Internet and all the insights in the books we parents read, I've found it so hard to convey what I've learned to our children's other caregivers. When I discovered RIE principles (through Janet Lansbury's excellent blog  and later, her books), it was challenging enough transmitting what I'd learned to my husband without the added challenge of literally translating the principles into another language for our helpers. (More on this in a future post.) It's one thing to tell them why we do things one way; getting them to put the principles into practice was another challenge altogether. And what good are principles if they're not practiced, right?
Work in progress

I translated the six questions into Filipino as best as I could and included the English equivalents underneath (for Woolim and me). I also added a few ways to praise and positively reinforce any good habits and development that E displayed during playtime, such as "Salamat sa pagtulong mo" ("Thank you for helping"), "Nagawa mong mag-isa!" ("You did that by yourself!"), and "Pinaghirapan mo 'yan" ("You worked really hard on that"). Hopefully, the visual reminder will get us all out of the "Good job" and "Wow" rut (For more great ways to praise your child, see this helpful poster). 

How have you trained your househelp, yayas, caregivers, nannies, or whoever else helps take care of your kids to be more positive, respectful, encouraging, and engaging with your growing littles? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

And if this little printable idea can help you create a more engaging environment in your household, feel free to download it and use it in your own play space (for personal use only, of course). Why not share a photo of your space while you're at it! Tag me on Instagram if you do!