Imitation is an early form of motor planning, usually developing during infancy. The infant’s ability to mirror gestures and facial expression is an important milestone in child development. It is also important for motor development as well as communication and bonding between babies and parents.
Generally, a child will learn to imitate movements before they learn to imitate sounds through speech.
Children learnt imitation throughout infancy and early childhood to have social exchanges with their caregivers and to learn new things.
Activity suggestions to teach gesture imitation
– waving bye, bye
-touch your nose
-hands on the head
– Clapp your hands
– Actions with objects (banging on a drum)
-blow out your cheeks
-open your mouth
– tapping hand on the table
If the child doesn’t imitate the movement, try holding your hand over the child’s and demonstrate the movement.
Hand over hand guidance can help a child learn the initial movement and later they will be able to do it themselves.
Hand puppets are a wonderful aid to help a child learn imitation skill. The puppet play will entertain the child as well as encourage them to focus their attention to the movement.