Playing with hats is a good way to expand children's vocabulary because we can use multiple adjectives to describe the hats. For example: The hat is golden. See the video bellow, Tommy is wearing his Viking hat. I tell him he is a Viking every time he wares this hat. In this way, I am trying to get him in role-playing.
Most of the time, I play with him face to face because he can clearly see the movement of my mouth and tongue. We also try to play in front of the mirror and he can see his facial expressions. By watching himself, he will realize if he is properly moving his tongue and mouth to produce the sounds (words) I say. Hats are a great tool to promote concept development, language development and social skills.
According to the book "The Parents Guide to Play" by Dr. Wendy Masi and Dr. Roni Cohen Leiderman, "Talking to your toddler about the hats the two of you are wearing helps expose him to new words that will someday become a part of his vocabulary. And seeing you in different hats teaches him that you're still Mommy even if you look a little bit different. When your child is a bit older, he' ll start to enjoy role-playing with the hats, a game that will stretch his capacity for imaginative play."
We are trying to give Tommy all the necessary tools to allow him to reach his full potential. He was able to flow two step command this morning while we were playing with the hats. He gave me daddy's baseball hat and he wanted it back; then, I told him: "come and pick the hat up". He did! I didn't realize he was able to understand two-step command until a few minutes later. It was a grate feeling to be witness that my son has accomplished an age appropriate milestone. Now, we will keep reinforcing this new skill.