Always on the Move
It’s difficult to think of a better moniker for this period of development than toddlers. Toddlers between the ages of one and three are scooting away from babyhood in quest of new experiences. They’re learning to talk, walk, and run, as well as express their autonomy. “Outside” and “play” are becoming typical demands within this age range.
As a parent, your primary concern is the safety of your child. It’s critical to have supervision and safety safeguards in place, such as gates and electrical outlet covers.
You should, however, give your toddler opportunities to explore. This entails close monitoring, but also the opportunity to experience a variety of contexts. Parents may provide their children the space and freedom to investigate, whether it’s on a stroll in the woods or a visit to a museum, which is a vital part of helping them grow.
Why should you go on an adventure?
Toddlers’ emotional, social, and physical development all benefit from exploring the inside and outside environment – with supervision, of course. They gain a better understanding of the world and how it functions. It’s one thing to view an orange; it’s quite another to hold one in your hand, feel its cool, smooth surface, inhale its aroma, and even taste it.
It’s much better if you ask queries like, “What colour is it?” Is it large or small?
Exploration also allows toddlers to practise crucial motor skills. They can persevere until they get it properly, whether it’s kicking a ball or climbing stairs. Not only do they gain new abilities, but they also gain a greater sense of confidence and competence. To put it another way, individuals begin to believe, “I can do it!”
One approach to ensure that toddlers get adequate daily physical activity is to let them explore. Allow lots of time for your child to be active throughout the day on a daily basis.
Indoor amusement options are numerous; here are a few examples:
- Mirror, mirror on the wall. Kids begin to recognise themselves in photos and mirrors at this age. Set up a mirror at eye level that is secure and allow your child to explore his or her own face. “Can you open your mouth?” or “Where is your nose?” Fill a compact photo album with family and friends photos that you can go over together or let your youngster browse through on his or her own. Toddlers also like emulating other people’s actions. Play games of physical or verbal impersonation.
- Cabinets that are suitable for children. Make some low-lying cabinets into exploration shelves by stacking items that your child can pull out, smash together, and shake around. Choose only child-safe goods and keep an eye on them.
- Toys that are tactile. Toddlers enjoy experimenting with their sense of touch. Set up some Play-Doh (store-bought or homemade), finger paint, or other age-appropriate objects that can be squeezed, patted, poked, and prodded safely for your older toddler. Wrapping paper, wax paper, or textured toys that are pleasant to touch and crinkle will appeal to younger babies.
- Toy box in the house. Create a toy box containing dolls, safe housekeeping products like clean sponges or brushes, dress-up clothes, and toy telephones to promote imagination (without cords). Toys for toddlers include plastic containers with lids, plastic cups and plates, and just about anything you can stack, pile, fill and empty, or nest.
- Climbing the stairwell to the top of Mount Everest. Climbing stairs is a favourite pastime of many toddlers. On carpeted stairs, go up and down together, but make sure to replace gates when you’re done. Practice walking backwards or on tiptoes on flat ground, depending on your child’s age and abilities. Dance to music or imitate animals (walk like a penguin, jump like a kangaroo, etc.).
Exploring the outdoors
- Have fun with the ball. Have a variety of balls to play with on hand. Children learn to kick, throw, and catch balls during their toddler years.
- It’s a beach. Water and sand are fantastic tactile attractions for toddlers even in the backyard. To float boats, utilise other water toys, and splash around, make a water table or use a small basin or bucket. To let kids experience sand on their toes and fingers, build a sandbox or take them to the beach. Always keep an eye on children near water and empty containers when you’re finished. When not in use, cover sandboxes to prevent pets and other animals from contaminating them.
- Examine the natural world. Encourage your youngster to collect bugs, pick up leaves and rocks, and feel the bark on trees.
- Put it on the board. Sidewalk chalk is available in large sizes, which are ideal for a toddler’s grip. Their “drawings” are at best abstract, but they’ll enjoy seeing their scribbles come to life.
Exploration Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Adventure
- Keep an eye on things, but take a step back. Pay attention to your instincts to lend a hand. After you’ve provided your child with the supplies he or she requires, resist the impulse to micromanage the activity. If your youngster wants to bang bricks together, don’t step in unless someone is at risk of being wounded.
- When required, make corrections. If you see your child doing something risky, unhealthy, or destructive, such as walking with pens, eating crayons, or throwing stones, gently instruct them on how to use the object properly: “Chairs are for sitting, not standing,” or “You can bang the spoon on the pot, but it’s not for hitting people.” Try not to retaliate more forcefully than the circumstance requires. Toddlers are notorious for pushing the boundaries and ignoring your requests. If reminders don’t work, try distracting them with other activities and products, or if necessary, use a time-out.
- “It’s all about the trip,” remember. Anyone who has tried walking a youngster to the library or to a friend’s house knows how distracting and time-consuming the excursion can be. Children frequently want to investigate stuff that most of us take for granted. Toddlers are fascinated by bugs, rocks, yard ornaments, fallen leaves, and parked autos. Encourage children to observe bark, twigs, spiders, and light and shop sign colours, as well as watch doors open and close, trucks idle, and people boarding buses.
You may be impatient to get going and bring your child to the activity you’ve arranged as a parent. You wish to begin “doing something.” This exploration, on the other hand, is accomplishing something for children. Rather than hurrying, take a deep breath and collaborate to develop new discoveries.