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Imitation with Identical Objects

When working with pre-verbal children establishing imitation is very important as a building block for social and language skills.  When children struggle with imitation skills it is most often due to cognitive delays and/or autism spectrum disorders.  

Using identical objects allows the child to imitate an adult in a way that doesn't require the ability to pretend.  It is a very concrete and functional way to begin working on imitation.  Here are some ideas:


 Imitation with identical objects

·       Stack or nest plastic cups or bowls

·       Use a wooden spoon to pound on a pot

·       Use a small toy hammer to pound

·       Make noises into an “echo” microphone

·       Pop together or pull apart pop beads

·       Snap duplos or big legos together

·       Pull apart the duplo or lego towers you made

·       Push a toy car, truck or train

·       Blow on a whistle or a horn

·       Color/scribble on a piece of paper

·       Push and flatten play-do

·       Pour water in the sink or tub

·       Press something to make a noise (a “bell hop” bell, the “red button” from staples, noise maker toys etc)

·       Ring a bell

·       Turn a noise maker toy upside down (makes a cow or sheep noise)

·       Push buttons on a pop up toy

·       Wind the crank for a jack-in-the-box

·       Pour noodles, rice, beads or plastic “jewels” from a cup

·       Squirt water from a small spray bottle

·       Shake a pom pom

·       Throw or roll a ball

·       Pop bubbles with your finger

·       Stomp bubbles with your feet

·       Finger paint


If you have questions about your child's development please feel free to contact us at   


1935 County Road B2 West Suite 100 Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 636-4155