Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content


Mom and son playing with blocks on the floor

Descriptions occur when you talk about what your child is doing in as much detail as possible. You describe what your child is doing like a sports reporter or commentator might describe what is going on to someone who can’t see the action. Description can be used during playtime or another activity when you want your child to focus and learn something new. It is an easy way to show your child you are noticing what he is doing and to give positive attention to behaviors you want your child to do more often.

Here is an example of how description can be used during playtime.

“You’re looking at all the pieces and trying to decide which one you want. Oh, you decided to put a green cowboy hat on the potato. Nice job getting the hat on. Now he has a mustache. You picked the green glasses that match the green hat (child struggles to put them on). Those glasses are tough to put on, and I like how hard you are trying. I am glad you stuck with it and you got those glasses on his face.”

Why is Description a good tool to use?
  • Descriptions show your child you are interested in what he is doing and you are giving him your full attention.
  • Descriptions can help you teach your child. For example, you can teach your child how to count, how to name colors, or how to name certain toys among other things by using descriptions.
  • Descriptions can help encourage language development in young children. Your descriptions give your child words to describe something, which helps build his vocabulary.
  • Descriptions are helpful in holding your child’s attention. This helps increase the length of time your child is able to stick to the task. It also prepares your child for the focus he needs when he begins school.
  • Descriptions can help build self-esteem. Descriptions let your child know you think what he is doing is interesting.
Description Tip
  • Focus on describing your child’s good behaviors. If you describe misbehavior, your attention will likely cause those behaviors to happen more often.