• Jump Start

What's the Point?

Pointing is crucial for language development! Pointing and other gestures is an early sign of communication and develops around 12 months. Your child may point to request for items, gain your attention, and show you something in the environment. These early pointing gestures typically form before a child says his/her first words!

Here are some ways to target pointing at home!


1. Model, model, model!

  • Point at items you are going to grab. If you are grabbing your water bottle, point to it first while labeling it!

  • Point to items outside while on a walk. For example, say “Look, a bird!” while pointing to the bird.

2. Hide your child’s desired item out of reach.

  • Put your child’s favorite snack on a high shelf in the pantry. When your child wants those goldfish, help him/her point towards that snack that smiles back!

  • Put a favorite toy on a shelf for him/her to point towards. This will help your child learn that pointing can help them request for items!

3. Hold one item in each of your hands as choices for your child!

  • Bathtime: Hold two bathtime toys and have your child point towards the toy he/she wants.

  • Reading: Hold a book in each of your hands and have your child point towards the book he/she wants to read.

4. Bubbles

  • Help your child make a “pointing finger” to pop the bubbles!

5. Stick items to the wall!

  • When playing with a puzzle, stick puzzle pieces to the wall with tape or sticky tack. Have your child point to a puzzle piece on the wall for you to pull down.

  • You can stick legos, pretend food, figurines, and more to the wall!

6. Songs

  • Songs provide a lot of opportunities to point! For example “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” is a song built on pointing to body parts!

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