Are you looking for new ways to improve your toddler's development? You're in the right place.
It can be hard to know whether you're doing the right things to help your toddler grow and develop. But we've got six ideas in today's post to get you started:
1. Embrace messy play
You may have already introduced some messy play sessions when your child was an infant. But the benefits extend into toddlerhood too.
Not only does making a mess provide a sensory experience for your toddler, it also provides opportunities for you both to get creative.
This is important. As a society, we place so much emphasis on academic development and hitting milestones. It's easy to forget the importance of creativity along the way.
A regular messy play session will help your toddler develop their motor skills, imagination, and have fun in the process.
2. Let them get involved with chores around the house
Many parents assume that it's too soon to get their toddlers involved in chores around the house. But that's not true.
Encouraging your toddler to help around the house is great for their development.
It helps them start to understand their role in the family, as well as teaching them how everything works.
Of course, tasks should be age-appropriate. Think about your child's motor skills — what do they have the capacity to help with at this stage?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Loading clothes into the washing machine.
- Sorting socks into pairs.
- Tidying away their own toys.
Remember to slow down and take everything at your toddler's pace. They won't do everything the same way you would, and that's okay.
3. Spend lots of time in nature
Is there anything better for a child's development than time in nature? We don't think so.
Children can learn so much from being outdoors:
- Gross motor skills, like walking on different types of terrain.
- Imagination skills, using items found in nature for play.
- Physical activity — and the importance of regular exercise.
Studies have also linked time in nature to a variety of mental health benefits. Reduced stress and anxiety may help your toddler adapt to some of the changes they're experiencing. You may find this especially useful if you're looking for new ways to handle toddler tantrums.
4. Feed them a healthy diet
A healthy diet has many benefits for your child. Most importantly, it provides them with energy to fuel their experiences.
But there's more to it than that. Research suggests nutrition plays a role in everything from cognitive development to building a strong immune system.
Looking for some ideas? Check out our blog post on the best foods to keep your toddler healthy.
5. Play games to help them reach their milestones
It's important to be mindful of the milestones your toddler should be reaching. Although all children develop at a different rate, this can help you plan activities to help them learn. Remember not to panic if your child is not at a certain milestone yet. Just keep working with them, and keep encouraging them.
At this age, the best way to learn is through play. Create games to play with your toddler, focusing on building a range of skills to help them hit those milestones.
6. Make sure they're getting enough sleep
One of the hardest things to prioritise as a parent is sleep.
You might not feel like you're getting enough. But it's important to ensure you provide your toddler with opportunities to get the rest they need, including a daytime nap.
We hope this article has given you some new ideas for activities with your toddler. The most important thing to remember is all children are different. They all develop at their own rate and, as long as we're providing them with opportunities to grow, they will all get there in their own time.