Taking turns is a difficult concept to understand. Playing games where you have to take turns holding an object will help baby understand an important social skill – letting someone else have a turn does not mean you will never have the object again.

Why do it?

  • Sharing is a difficult idea for baby to understand — they need to know that if they give something up, they’ll get it back. This activity helps baby understand through taking turns.
  • It’s also another chance to use parallel talk and self-talk, so baby hears the words that belong with the actions.

How to do it

  • Find a soft ball.
  • Sit opposite baby, legs apart, holding the ball.
  • Roll the ball to baby and say, ‘Your turn! Roll the ball to Dad’
  • Be ready to retrieve the ball and roll it back to baby again, saying, ‘Your turn.’
  • Play until baby has had enough.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Ngā kupu Words
Sentence, phrase
Enjoyable, fun
Nōu te wā Your turn
Nōku te wā My turn
Ko koe te tuatahi You go first
Ko au te tuarua I'll go second
To be opposite, facing towards each other
E noho Sit
E noho ki te whāriki Sit here on the carpet
Whewhera ōu waewae Spread your legs
Pīrori te pōro Roll the ball
He pōro mākohakoha A soft ball
Release, let go
Huri mai Turn to me
Mātakitaki Māmā Watch mum
Ka taea e koe te hopu? Can you catch it?
Kātahi te pēpi mōhio, ko koe What a clever baby you are
E reretahi ana te karu mē te ringa The eye and the hand are coordinated
Mā te whakaharatau e tika ai Practice makes perfect