In this article, learning and instruction in caregiver-child interactions are discussed. Referring to empirical observations, the authors distinguish between several modes of interaction. A mode of interaction can be characterized by the participants' roles, the aims pursued and the instruments used. The didactic mode of interaction provides a rich repertoire with a complex structure of learning and instruction opportunities. However, also in other modes identified - a playful and an efficient mode - learning and instruction possibilities exist. After introducing and systematizing the concept of mode of interaction, the didactic mode is illustrated with a case-study.