At this age, it seems as if your toddler is learning a new skill every day, whether it is in the area of social skills, communication skills, motor skills or cognitive skills. Here are some activities to encourage your toddler’s progress.
- Roll and Ball – Rolling a ball back and forth is not just fun for the kid, but it also helps improve their depth perception, visual tracking abilities and hand eye coordination. Moreover, it teaches them about turn-taking
- Puzzles – Have your toddlers work simple three or four pieces’ jigsaw puzzles and guide them through it
- Creativity – Indulging your children in art projects will not only be a wonderful means of self-expression, but they also help kids develop spatial awareness and problem solving skills. This can prove to be essential when it comes to understanding mathematics concepts later in life. Toddlers also enjoy a variety of artistic pursuits like coloring to finger painting to clay modelling. As a parent, make sure you supervise these activities as the kids at this age would be tempted to put art materials in their mouths.
- Screen Time – The screen time for kids should be limited. This includes TV, computers, smartphones and other devices. Screens are fine sometimes, but majority of your child’s play should be physically active and should involve face to face interactions and tactile experiences with the environment.
- Outdoor Activity – Whether it is a sunny day or rainy, make outdoor play time a part of your kid’s daily schedule. They need opportunities to run, climb and explore.
- Riding – Once your toddler starts walking and running, and has done it for a few months, they have gained the coordination abilities to try a tricycle. Having your child put on a helmet would be a good idea, not only to protect them but also to instill the habit of wearing a helmet every time they ride.
- Finger Activities – Latch boards with knobs, levers and locks are very well suited for little hands to manipulate. The same goes with dolls and stuffed animals that have clothing with buttons, zippers, snaps etc.
- Turning the Page – Let your child enhance their motor skills by asking them to turn the pages of the book when you’re reading to them
- Music with Body Movement – Sing your kids the songs that involve their hands and their bodies to move. Itsy Bitsy Spider, I’m a little Teapot, This little Piggy are some of the examples
- Talking – Regular talking and responding to your toddler is one of the best ways to boost their communication skills and intelligence. A strong correlation has been found in research between the sheer number of words a child hears from his/her parents and their IQ and performance at school
- Elaboration – Expanding on what your child says will help stimulate their thought process. If they say a word, use that word to complete a sentence. For instance, if they say ‘Truck’, you could complete it by adding “Yes that was a big blue truck”
- Album Creation – Create an album by focusing on everyday items like the car, the laundry basket etc. You can cut out pictures from a magazine or simply click pictures and label them. Every once in a while, go through the album with your toddler and have them name what they see
- Affection – Show your affection by giving lots of hugs to your child. It helps them foster their sense of security
- Reaction to tantrum – As parents, one should act responsibly to their child’s tantrums. Methods like reasoning, cajoling and over empathizing are likely to be effective. The child will gradually learn to use words and self-control at a later stage but for now, you will have to resort to showing less interest in your child’s tantrums so that they pass quickly
- Praise – It is important to praise good behavior and letting your child know when they have behaved well. Your hugs and kind words will act as positive reinforcement. Children do not need treats or new toys every time.
- Cleaning Up – Make cleaning up fun by methods like singling a song while you clean or by setting a timer while you tidy. Gamification of the cleaning process will instill the notion of cleaning being an enjoyable ritual
- Socializing – A toddler will make great gains by interacting with other kids of their age. Hence you need to encourage socializing by either joining playgroups or by organizing regular get-togethers with other kids of the same age.