child development, Child's Education

FUN YET SIMPLE ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS 18-24 MONTHS

Once your child goes beyond a year old, she will be exploring so many things in her surroundings. It is the time when she would try to sneak into your kitchen and open the cupboards herself. It is the dangerous period when she would climb up the staircases and leave you breathless.

So how can you keep your baby busy on safer and more meaningful things? What are the best activities that you could give her during this stage?

To help you get through this time successfully, I have listed five of the best ways to make your 18-24 month old baby happy and busy:

1. Ignite interest with picture books.

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Picture books are a real gift to the learning journey of our children. Most of the picture books that you will find in the bookstores and markets are of various themes and ideas. You can pick a book about shapes where different items that resemble certain shapes are shown so that your child can be familiar with them.

The toddler stage is the perfect time for your kids to embrace the fun in learning. It is ideal to introduce her to new words and concepts through the use of picture books.

2. Develop curiosity with wooden toys.

The use of wooden toys is promoted by the Montessori education. Contrary to plastics, wooden toys are safe for your kids. Just make sure that the wood has been painted with non-toxic materials.

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There are different kinds of wooden toys out there. The best wooden toys for children below two years old are those that can introduce geometric concepts and patterns. It is also nice to give her a wooden xylophone because music can intensify the cognitive development of children.

3. Stimulate creativity with art.

Boy, drawing a picture for fathers day

You might be surprised that your toddler can already create wonderful art even at her young age! Just allow her to hold a non-toxic and washable crayon with a piece of paper. See what she can randomly create! Do not forget to capture her creations through a photograph. There are also jewelry makers who can transform your toddler’s first doodles into a pendant for you to keep forever.

Other art ideas include tracing her hands using colorful and washable markers on a piece of paper, painting her toy box, making a DIY paint using a yogurt, or putting some stickers on a surface. Remember to be forgiving during this stage. There is no point in being so strict about cleanliness. Let her be messy to explore all areas of creativity.

4. Promote fine motor skills with play.

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You should not wait until her preschool years before you even attempt to consider the development of your child’ fine motor skills. You can check out the internet for some cool ideas about fine motor activities. One sample activity is the insert pipe game. Just get a used cardboard box, empty its contents, and create even round holes on the box. Then cut small pipe cleaners which your child could insert into the holes.

There is no need to spend so much on the toys of your baby. You can make do of whatever there is at your home. Be resourceful enough and enjoy the process.

5. Explore sensory capabilities with experiments.

Aren’t experiments fun? You don’t need to be a scientist just to let your child feel awesome about them! One experiment that you can do is the bubble fun experiment. Just get an empty bottle, fill it with water, pour some shampoo into it, add some food dye, and shake. Prepare three different colors to make things a lot more exciting. Your child will surely be amazed by the resulting bubbles!

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Another experiment that you can do is the simple pancake experiment. Create a pancake and add interesting toppings like mallows, nuts, syrup, and more. Let her get one topping at each time and ask her what she feels. Explain the idea of color, texture, taste, and flavor.

Enjoy every step of your journey to parenting. The toddler stage can be exhausting but it can also be extremely fun and meaningful for as long as you delight in little joys.


how to be the most loving parent the smart wayGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, healthy food, Relationships

Training the Fussy Eater

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try.

Picky eater

Try to make foods fun.  Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler.  Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer.

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same.

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician.

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat.   Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!


 

how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, healthy food, Relationships

The Importance of a Regular Routine to your Child

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Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table.

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.  

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool. If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well. Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

how to keep your sleeping baby safeGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu


 

child development, Relationships

Present a Unified Parental Front When Disciplining your Child

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Disciplining your child is never easy.  You probably know from experience and mistakes how important it is to be consistent, firm and to always follow through with designated disciplinary consequences.  But when there are two parents involved, it’s crucial they are both on the same page and apply discipline consistently regardless of marital status.

Parents should agree on how to discipline their children. To become reliable to children, both parents must be consistent in dealing with similar situations. In a situation where the parents are separated or divorced, disagreeing with each other over upbringing can create a confusing situation for children.  They should make a concerted effort to keep their child’s best interests at heart and sit down with their child and line out the rules and expectations and the consequences for violating those rules.  Both should agree that the intended discipline is fair, and apply it consistently in a firm yet fair manner in each home.

In addition, if there are disagreements regarding discipline or other parenting issues, they are best resolved when the child is not present.  If the child senses discord, they may attempt to manipulate the situation to their advantage. 

When teaching good behavior, parents should “practice what they preach.” Children learn values and beliefs more by examples adults set than by verbal instructions. Screaming at a child to be quiet or paddling a child for hitting is hypocritical and ineffective. Decide what is important and what parental response to use to teach your child. It would be more effective to calmly tell your child to be quiet or use “time-out” when a child is physically aggressive.

And remember what works now may not work later down the road. Situations may dictate a different approach, and time and maturity may demand a child’s rule be modified or abolished altogether. Sometimes your common sense will help you decide when bedtime rules should be modified or table manners relaxed.  Some rules will be the same, others will be modified or abolished, and new ones will be introduced. But regardless of the situation, parents should always present a unified front and work together and not against each other in providing effective discipline for their child.