The principles presented by Natural Environment Teaching can be applied in your home to encourage your child’s increased requesting for items and activities in your home. Two of the main strategies for natural environment teaching are capturing and contriving opportunities for your child to make requests.
Strategies to use when working on requesting in your home:
- Creating an environment that is rich with activities and materials that are motivating to your child.
- Paying attention to your child’s motivation for different activities, toys, or food items. When that motivation is present, it is a great time to work on making requests!
Capturing moments when your child is motivated for items or activities:
- Take advantage of times when your child wants something
- Wait to see if your child will request independently
- Prompt a request if they do not independently make a request
Contriving opportunities for requests:
- Set up the environment so that your child has to make a request to get the desired item, activity, or food item
Some ways to set up the environment are:
- Putting toys or snacks in clear containers that your child cannot open without help
- Giving a bowl of cereal to your child but not giving them a spoon
- Placing toys on a shelf that is out of their reach but that they can still see
- Remove batteries from a favorite toy
- If you child is already able to make simple, one word requests consistently, you can prompt them to make a more complex request using a phrase.
- Reinforcement is provided naturally by providing your child with their requested item and you can pair it was praise!