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Understanding (And Describing) The Function Of Objects

“Finding Purpose”

One of the first object associations children make is that between an object and its use.   When observing your child play, you will often see evidence that he understands this relationship.  For example a child may pick up brush and brush his hair.  When teaching your child to identify an object by its function, first you need to make sure that he knows what the object is and how it is meant to be used.  Present your child with various familiar objects.   

  • Place 3 objects at a time in front of your child and ask him to “Show you the one that you…”
  • Brush your hair with (brush)
  • Drink from (cup)
  • Wear on your feet (shoe)
  • Feed the doll with (bottle or spoon)
  • Cut the paper with (scissors)
  • Brush your teeth with (toothbrush)
  • Sweep with (broom)
  • Wipe your face with (napkin)
  • Talk on (phone)
  • Color with (crayon)

When teaching your child to verbalize the function of an object, follow the above techniques.  Describe the objects and what they’re used for.  Then present the object to your child and ask, “What do you do with a ___________?” (e.g., What do you do with a brush? We brush our hair with a brush. Model the appropriate response).

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