Pointing to and naming things in baby’s world supports language acquisition. Pēpi will begin to point, identifying things of interest that they want to ‘talk about’, increasing their vocabulary as they engage in conversations with their whānau.

Why do it?

  • This activity helps baby expand their vocabulary. Baby will have noticed whānau pointing to and naming things and people — both in books and in the real world. Before too long, baby will begin to point too, wanting whānau to give names to things.
  • When baby points and looks at their whānau to hear their response, baby is learning about conversations, how people take turns when they’re talking together.

How to do it

  • Point to what baby seems to be looking at and name it for them — follow their interest.
  • If you notice things that are interesting, point to them and tell baby what they see.
  • Baby probably already enjoys repetition, and soon this ‘pointing and naming’ will become a game.
  • When you think baby is ready, try using a couple of extra descriptive words when baby points — for example, ‘Ball. It’s a red ball!’ (This is known as ‘stretch talk’.)
  • This is a simple way of playing together and baby learns a lot — they have their own ‘personal advisor’ on the world.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Discuss, chat
Notice, pay attention to
Naming, label
Point out, draw attention to
He aha tērā? What's that? (over there)
He ........... tērā That's a ........ (over there)
He aha tēnā I te taha ia koe? What’s that by you?
He ........... tēnā? That (near me) is a ......
He aha tēnei? What is this?
He ........... tēnā That (near you) is a ......
Teddy bear
Advisor, instructor
Adjective, describing word