5 Playtime Ideas that will Boost your Toddler’s Development

This game was found on and slightly adapted from FamilyFun.com and is played by taping a piece of string to a light weight ball. Dangle the ball for your toddler to swat with his feet or hands. Move it slightly out of reach giving your child a chance to crawl, walk, run, or simply reach towards it. Adapt the game by hanging it from a doorway- watch your child bat at it like a tetherball. This game will help enhance your child’s hand-eye coordination and motor skills.

This game was found on and slightly adapted from Familyfun.com. It is played by rolling socks inside themselves to form balls and then securing the balls with a sturdy piece of tape. Begin by showing your toddler how to toss the balls into a laundry basket and then try moving the basket further and further away for an added challenge. Next, line up some large plastic cups or toilet paper rolls. Practice bowling them over by rolling the balls along your smooth floor, or by throwing it across the carpet. If you like to keep things simple you can entertain your child with an easy game of catch or by showing off your tantalizing juggling skills.

Reading is an important aspect of development no matter what age or stage your child is at. Your toddler will enjoy authors like Dr Seuss, Bill Pete and the classic Mother Goose rhyming books. At this stage your child will begin to follow along as you read so let him turn the pages and encourage him to point out objects and people in the story. You may be surprised what a child can glean about himself, his environment and his culture as you read to him- so try to incorporate books that are fun, interactive, and Canadian.

4. ART 101
Create fun and interactive art projects by providing your child with a variety of shapes, colors, and textures to use freely. Teach your child how to use the major materials like paint and glue but let him use his imagination to create his own masterpiece.

5. MUSIC AND THE FAMILY BAND Go to the Parents’ Music Room at bbc.co.uk to see research describing the importance of music for child development. The popular benefits of music range from language development and self confidence to social and intellectual skills including math. Your toddler will love singing simple songs that promote fine motor skill development, like The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and gross motor skill development, like The Wheels on the Bus. Take music a step further and create a family band. Use household items, like an empty toilette paper roll filled with rice, to create your own instruments and use them to enhance the rhythm of your favorite children’s songs.

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