Toddlers (1-2 Years)
Language is one of the most exciting parts of your child's development. This is the period where their understanding and use of words builds rapidly. At one year of age most children can say two or three recognisable words and by the time they're three they will have progressed to conversations of two or three sentences.
Physically their skills and coordination are also rapidly increasing: learning how to kick a ball, climb stairs and grasp a pencil to scribble. They show their independence by saying "no" and begin to pretend when they play.
Remember that children develop at different rates. Don't worry if your child hasn't reached certain milestones that other children the same age have. And keep in mind that development is a journey, not a race.
You know your toddler best, so if you have concerns or questions about your child's development, talk to your Maternal and Child Health nurse. Your eight and ninth Maternal and Child Health appointments fall within this age bracket at 18 months and two years.
What your child may be doing
At 18 months :
walking well with feet slightly apart
climbing, managing corners and obstacles well
saying six to 12 recognisable words
repeating last words of sentences
wanting to be more independent and do things without help
showing personality traits
playing alone, but still liking to be near adults
easily frustrated and throwing temper tantrums
using objects and routines for comfort and security.
At two years :
walking up stairs and maybe walking backwards
squatting and standing without using hands
kicking a ball and throwing over arm
saying 50 or more recognisable words and understanding more
joining in some nursery rhymes
becoming increasingly independent but still constantly demanding parents’ attention
clinging tightly in affection, fear or fatigue
throwing temper tantrums when frustrated
starting to develop an imagination.
Talk to your Maternal and Child Health nurse about :
emotional development in your toddler, whether they are affectionate and if they come to you for comfort
language development, the number of words your toddler speaks and understands, as well as their attempts to put words together
play, what your toddler enjoys and if they take an interest in ‘pretend play’.
Your child's learning :
You can get your young child off to a good start by getting involved in their learning early. It’s easy and fun, and research shows it will help your child’s learning for life.
You can help your child learn by :
talking about what’s around you and what’s happening
encouraging your child to talk by listening and responding
providing materials that can be used in lots of ways and that encourage your child to imitate and pretend (for example, toy telephones, dolls or hats)
sharing songs, stories and rhymes.
Your child and books :
You should try to read to your child every day. Toddlers, and even babies, can start experiencing books very early.
They can learn :
how to hold a book
that the front of a book is different from the inside
how to hold the book and turn the pages at the same time
to look for interesting things in the pictures
that pictures and stories stay the same each time you look at a book
that some books contain exciting stories
that some books contain printed words and language.
Play-based learning :
Play offers children many valuable opportunities that contribute to their learning. Evidence shows that play can support learning across physical, social, emotional and intellectual areas of development. In the first three years particularly, play helps children to learn about the world through listening, looking, touching, tasting and smelling.
Following are a few suggestions of things you can do with your child :
Put several different objects in a bag and ask your child to put a hand in and feel one. Ask questions such as ‘How does it feel?’ Describing objects helps your child’s language development.
Encourage your child to stack blocks and then take some away. Activities like this help your child begin to learn skills and an understanding for maths.
Fill plastic containers with sand, pebbles, rice and water. Encourage your child to shake them and discover the different sounds they make.
Provide your child with opportunities to socialise more widely.
Communicating with your child :
Toddlers listen to everything you say. They often understand more than we think they do. They can be very sensitive and may get grumpy or burst into tears because of the way someone speaks to them or laughs at them.
Toddlers have strong feelings and emotions and their communication skills let them down at times. Their feelings can sometimes be too much for them, but they often don’t have the words or understanding to tell you what’s wrong. Their communication skills are improving all the time. When toddlers can communicate well with words it will be easier for them to get help with their everyday needs. Feeling secure, understood and accepted by their family helps them through trying times.
Following are some tips for good communication :
really listen to what your child is trying to say and try to recognise the emotions behind it
make regular time to communicate one-on-one with your child
whenever your child wants to talk, try to pay full attention
get down to your child’s level to talk by kneeling or squatting and facing the child
let your child finish sentences – don’t interrupt.
Your child's behaviour :
By this age, many children start to control their urges, change their behaviour and do as you ask - not all the time, of course.
The name for this ability is self-regulation. It’s one of life’s most important milestones.
Some tips for helping your child learn to behave in acceptable ways include :
try to create situations where your child can explore life without lots of ‘don’t’ and ‘no’
show your child how you feel about their behaviour
give your child positive feedback for behaviour that you approve of
explain the consequences of your child’s behaviour so they can figure out why something is wrong
GIFT YOUR CHILD A BEST LIFE
A KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
BUILD THEM STRONG FOR FUTURE:
For child 2yrs to 12yrs total development program
Make the most of the early years of your child
Develop the habit of reading and love of learning in your child
Utilize the amount of time that your child spends at home more productively
Prepare your child for increasing competition
Raise a well-rounded, happy and successful individual
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