By your child’s first birthday, he will probably already have spoken two or three words. First words tend to be “mama” or “dada”, or simple objects like “ball” or “cup”. To assist your child in broaden-ing his vocabulary, it is important that you talk frequently to him.
Here are some suggestions for exposing your child to the proper use of language:
- Ask your child to hand you simple objects.
- Name objects that your child uses.
- When grocery shopping, name the items as you place them in the cart.
- Name simple objects as you look through books togeth-er
- Explain your actions to your child: e.g. “I’m mopping the floor”, or “It’s time to put your shoes on”.
Role playing is an important part of the development of children.
It helps them learn about relationships between people and what they do. Role playing toys are a great way to assist your child in this learning experience. By using pretend vacuum cleaners, tools, cookware etc, your child begins to model what he or she sees you doing in your everyday activities. Also let your child experiment with putting on and taking off the lids of saucepans. Then encourage her to discover that a little pan fits inside a larger one, and that small toys can be placed inside and taken out of the pans etc. All of these help your baby learn about her world.
Great Toys For Toddlers
- Push toys
- Empty boxes
- Board books
- Pots and pans with lids
- Wooden spoons and plastic containers
- Musical toys
Happy Birthday, Baby!
To encourage coordination skills, you can play this easy game with your toddler. Have your child imitate you while you clap your hands, nod your head, stamp your feet, wiggle your fingers, and so on. Here is a little poem to go along with this activity (your actions should accompany the words): Wiggle your fingers, Wiggle your toes, Wiggle your shoulders, Wiggle your nose. Not another wiggle left in me, And I’m as happy as can be!
Label Books are Fun
Cut out large colorful names and pictures from food boxes or the labels from cans e.g. Cheerios, Campbell’s Soup, Baby Food etc. The best ones to pick are those that are familiar from their use in your own home. Commonly seen names of companies such as Burger King, MacDonald’s, Pizza Hut cut from the advertising inserts in newspapers are good too. These can be pasted onto construction paper and placed in plastic document protectors or vinyl photo albums and read together as the adult points at the words. Homemade label books are another way to enjoy reading with your child.
With fat, non-toxic crayons along with a little encouragement from you, your toddler can scribble happily. Name the colors for him and talk about what he is doing. Praise your child’s art work and hang it on the refrigerator. This activity, of course, requires your constant supervision.
Toys and games should always be used by children under the direct and constant supervision of an adult. The toys and games mentioned here are general recommendations only. Proper and appropriate use of toys and games should be determined by each parent on the basis of an individual child’s age and abilities.
Suggested Books for Sharing
- Jabari Asim Whose Toes are Those?
- Brian Pinkney Hush Little Baby
- Dorothy Kunhardt Pat The Bunny
- Ailie Busby As Big As A Pig