Crafts, crafts and more crafts! By now your toddler will get very excited to make something - anything! Even if it's just using crayons and paper, the simple act of creating something is exciting to them! These creative moments will help fine tune their creative and imaginative play, as well as their fine motor skills. If messiness is unappealing, do not fret! There are are many ways to be creating without making (too much of) a mess. Things like play dough, painting with water, or building something out of empty toilet paper rolls are cleaner crafts. Try to allow them some messiness every once in a while.
The messiness leads into another fun activity - clean up! Most toddlers seem born to be our litre helpers. Embrace this! Give them cleaning cloths, allow them to bring their plates to the kitchen, etc. As they reach age 2 and older, show them how to put dishes (carefully) into the dishwasher, clean up small spills, etc. They will the think they are being your best helper, which is a huge self confidence booster. They are learning some life skills, and maybe a little independence.
Photo credit: med-8316 by aaron gilson via Flickr
This is a perfect time to introduce home made, edible play dough, and paints. Keep in mind it will be very messy, but being messy is very important when it comes to play (it also makes it more fun for your toddler). Get messy with them (as hard as that may be for you) - this will help bring you and your toddler together by building trust.
A fantastic activity to do at this age is taking an old bed sheet or large roll of paper outside, putting some paints on plates around the sheet, and stripping your toddler down to their diaper. Allow them to walk or crawl onto the paint, then move across the sheet. You'll get great hand prints, foot prints, and butt prints! Cut out sections and frame them for friends and family as they make great keepsakes.
You'll notice now that your young toddler is starting to favour particular toys - cars, dolls, airplanes, etc. Don't feel like that's all you can offer them - offer other types of toys to see if anything else peaks their interest. If you child isn't in daycare (where they get to experience more toys than at home), sign up for a play group. Usually playgroups and indoor play centres will have other toys that you don't. Watch your toddler and see what they gravitate to. It's a great way to see what else they may enjoy without spending too much money. It's also a great way to meet other parents/caregivers.
Photo credit: med-8315 by aaron gilson via Flickr
It's all about movement now - rolling, sitting, climbing, and crawling! Toys and play time should encourage movement.
Larger, soft rubber balls are great for chewing on as well as chasing.
Toys that can be used as "walkers" (the baby can hold onto while walking).
Jumpers and exersaucers are great for encouraging moving (and wearing out some energy!)
Food play is fun at this stage. Let them dip their fingers or a baby cracker into some apple sauce or yoghurt, then eat it. This will encourage independence, and fine motor skills. Just never leave your babies along when eating due to chocking hazards.
As baby reaches 12 months:
look for toys that will also encourage imaginative play - a doll house, big building blocks, baby dolls, puppets, etc
Sit on the floor with them and have some "pretend time" - create a puppet show, pretend to fix something, etc. Don't worry about looking or feeling silly. Your toddler will just enjoy your time together, and the more animated you are, the more they will enjoy it.
Music: music should be played around your baby from day one, but now is a good time to introduce a music class, or musical instruments (shakers seem to be very popular at this age). Encourage some movement as well for play time, or sit in a dimly lit room, for quiet room. Have "music time" or a "music circle" (sitting with your child singing songs together).
Photo credit: Reese Praying before Legos by Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr
Talk and smile to your baby during wake time and show baby that he/she can trust you.
Make sounds for your baby. Clap your hands, snap your fingers, make unusual sounds in different positions around your baby’s head, play soothing music.
Sing your baby simple lullabies like “Hush Little Baby” or "silent night".
Dangle a toy in front of baby and see if baby will follow as you move the toy.
Make your baby look. Use books with different textures and have baby touch and look at pictures.
Play peek a boo with baby. cover and uncover your eyes.
Babys love looking at themselves. Put a safety mirror on play mat.
Teach your baby to hold objects/toys. encourage baby to reach for objects/toys too.
after a 10 mins of stimulation of baby's brain. what better way to relax baby... giving baby infant massage.
Photo credit: Let's Do 52 :: 24/52 :: Pastel by latteda via Flickr
How would you like to win a 30 minute Q&A call with advanced sleep consultant and Precious Moment Babeez owner Debbie Fazio?
Since this months theme is Play, we’re looking for as many ideas as possible to share with the rest of our friends. It’s simple, just click on the Facebook link below and leave us a short tip or trick about how you play with your child.
On January 15th we will pick one lucky winner to receive this special consultation worth $80.
Leave us your Play tip on Facebook
Want to win some more?
We have some Halo Swaddle blankets we’d love to give to a few lucky parents. Just enter the form below to enter.
Winner will be drawn randomly on January 15th.
Photo credit: Reese, Hacker. by Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr
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