Thursday August 16, 2018
Your world is definitely a lively place with a 17 month old toddler in it! Your days will be filled with their endless chatter which is very amusing to listen to as much of it is comprehensible babble with a few words tossed in- listen carefully, as there will be a new one, most days! The number of words will be increasing almost daily now and the pronunciation or use of some will be amusing – my younger daughter declared that she didn’t like ‘trees’ at dinner one evening and she was actually referring to the broccoli! Don’t forget to fill in that baby book you tucked in a drawer and have never opened – there is still time to catch up and your child will be so delighted with it when they are older.
Car journeys can be made more fun with a couple of CDs of nursery rhymes. Your child will thoroughly enjoy joining in with all the favorites – and you will be surprised how many of the words you remember! You have the promise that even in 20 year’s time you will still be word perfect for ‘the wheels on the bus’!
To help increase their vocabulary, get out for a walk every day and point out all the things of interest including smells and sounds. Get your toddler to do the same back to you too! If they are not responding with a few words, it could be that they are feeling a little overwhelmed, so try making your sentences as short and straight to the point and maybe they will find this easier. Toddlers at this age are sociable and enjoy meeting other children so why not pop to a friend’s for a coffee whilst the toddlers play or join a children’s session at your local swimming pool or pop into tour local Mother & Toddlers’ group?
At this stage, touch is their most important sense and your toddler will dismiss food because of its texture rather than its taste. Get them to enjoy a barefooted walk in the sand, over grass or in some water to feel the different textures underfoot– it is not unusual for toddlers not to enjoy these sensations at all! A small sandpit can provide lots of fun at this age, especially if you can provide a few small plastic cartoons for filling and emptying. Let your toddler help mix in some water so that they learn how the consistency of the sand changes and it becomes perfect for sandcastles! Keep a close watch so that the sand is not eaten and of course your toddler must know that sand must never be thrown. The sand pit can be in an old baby bath as it doesn’t need to be large, but importantly it must be covered well at night and protected from animals using it as a loo! Water play with a washing up bowl of water is almost great fun and at 17 months, blowing bubbles will prove a great new pastime too.
Drawing will still be a popular activity and your budding artist is really developing now with precisely drawn lines and the first definite circles appearing on the paper. Some toddlers can cover just one part of the paper with a distinct pattern at this stage too. Blackboards are fun and your toddler will love the idea of rubbing out the drawings. Alternatively, chalk can be used on a piece of concrete and you will definitely have ‘helping hands’ when you scrub it clean at the end of the day! If you prefer, your child can enjoy water painting on the concrete with a paintbrush and small bucket of water.
With so many fun-filled days, it is important to remember that because all that they are doing is educational, your child will be getting tired more quickly. After tea time, change the tempo to some quieter play such as playing with some different sized boxes. At this stage, try playing the card game of pairs with your toddler – you will be surprised how good their memory is for remembering where the various cards are. My son was brilliant because we were playing on a glass table and he kept peeping underneath!