Thursday August 16, 2018
This is definitely the age for new skills both with vocabulary ever increasing and physical skills developing such as throwing a ball and being able to kick it too! Your toddler will view your lounge suite as an adventure playground so it is best to do another risk assessment of all your rooms and move furniture well away from windows ( fit window locks too for extra safety) and check anything that is free standing like a bookcase – if it wobbles, fix it to the wall. In reality, as your toddler charges around navigating the furniture (most times) you cannot prevent all accidents, but you can minimize them. Now is the time to grab a First Aid book from your bookshop or library – not to cause you concern but to give you confidence that if your toddler is choking on a bead you can deal with it competently!
At this age, Master/ Miss Individual likes to have their own space so create a space that is just theirs for toys and books and get a low table and chair for them – believe me, they will love it! You don’t have to spend loads of money, car boot sales are brilliant and so are online sites- both are ideal for reasonably priced equipment and toys and another great invention is the ‘Toy Library’. We couldn’t afford to buy all the larger toys, so we borrowed the ‘ride in’ car and doll’s house from the Toy Library and went for a play session in the local well-known toyshop regularly too! We were on first name terms with the staff!
Toys are fun but if you are buying a new one, my Granny gave great advice – a new toy should be 75% imagination. At this age, your toddler will be keen to impersonate different situations so a pretend shop with a play till is fun or a baby buggy and doll or better still a ride-in foot pedal powered car! If your toddler seems to have plenty of toys and books, a fun idea is to divide them into two groups and rotate them every fortnight. When you first produce the new ‘batch’ your toddler seriously believes it is Christmas! If your toddler enjoys simple puzzles, you can easily make your own by cutting old greetings cards into four to six pieces.
A daily routine is extra important at this age as your toddler likes a framework to their day and you could find that it avoids a few ‘firework displays’ – tantrums! One area of conflict could still be meal time. Many toddlers suddenly change their mind about a favorite food and don’t want to eat it anymore! Stay calm! Introduce some cheese sauce with dippers including raw vegetables. It is good to introduce new foods but has in your mind that it might take three or more attempts before they are accepted. If your toddler dismisses a favorite food, move on – don’t offer an alternative but keep the routine for a snack (no larger than usual) and then serve the next meal. No toddler dies of starvation when food has been offered so they will make up for it at the next meal.
If your toddler has become very aware of their nappy, why not give potty training a go? Clear the calendar, plan to stay at home for five days and have the potty at the ready! It is best to introduce ‘Percy Potty’ a few days earlier so that it is familiar to your child. There are plenty of websites and good friends that can advise you – I still put my money with Penelope Leach! If you feel that your toddler is not ready yet, simply delay things by a few weeks and give it another try, if you have success, congratulations are in order, but remember you will need to take ‘Percy’ with you wherever you go and if your toddler says he needs to use the potty, you must believe him… just in case!
As you start the bedtime routine with bath time fun, teeth brushing, a story and goodnight kiss, you may well wonder what life was like before your days were filled by your toddler.