Babies are born wired to communicate. When baby makes a sound and you respond, you are supporting their language development as well as their understanding of turn-taking in a conversation. Every opportunity to ‘talk’ with each other is important.

Why do it?

  • When whānau copy baby’s sounds, they’re telling baby that they’ve heard baby’s sound, and that they can make that sound too.
  • When baby hears whānau copying their sounds, this encourages baby to keep making them, which in turn strengthens their ability to continue making sounds (and trying new ones).
  • Copying baby’s sounds (for example, baby’s turn, parent’s turn) also helps baby learn about taking turns in a conversation.

How to do it

  • Do this activity when baby is relaxed and ready for some interaction.
  • Whānau can wait for baby to make a sound and then copy it.
  • Or they can get the conversation going with a sound they know baby can make.
  • Leave a space for baby to have their ‘say’ before ‘replying’.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Talk, communicate
Kōrero mai Talk to me
Waiata mai Sing to me
Tino pai koe ki te kōrero You're very good at talking
Sweet singing, tuneful
To wait
To imitate or mimic
To be relaxed
To support
Applaud, cheer
Ka pai koe Well done you
Kātahi te pēpi mōhio, ko koe What a clever baby you are